Having great people to photograph is hugely important to building my skills and developing my own unique photographic style. I've been very fortunate to have the support of friends and models who are willing to try new things, patient enough to let me experiment and dedicated enough to put up with some challenging working conditions. I have just created a new page on my site to highlight a few of these people, show some of the images we have created and thank them for how much they have helped me.
Some people want photos of children to always show bright happy smiling faces. But, as children grow they will face challenges and it is how they handle these challenges that will define their futures. Sometimes it is the quiet, thoughtful and maybe even sad moments that are he most powerful and therefore the most beautiful.
I first discovered Patrick La Roque's photography when searching for techniques that could get me a more film-like look for my own images. Patrick's photographs are often documentary and supported by his own eloquent writing. What I like most about Patric's work is that he's not afraid of shadow at a time when everybody else is exposing their shadows through popular HDR techniques. It's these deep shadows that add mystery to his images and the rich film like colors that add depth to his stories. I sent Patrick a question when I first found his site and, much to my surprise, he responded, with a very helpful answer, within a couple of hours. He turned out to be a great guy as well a passionate photographer and I still stop by his blog on an almost daily basis.
These are the quietest moments of the year for me, and the best time to contemplate what is next. Most of my current projects are closed out and, while most clients are focused on family, friends and holiday events, there is this brief opportunity to make adjustments in direction before pushing forward again.
I am sure that everyone is aware of the impact that digital technology has had on photography. Today we capture memories with our smart phones, new digital SLR cameras can make it almost impossible to take a bad photo and companies like mpix provide very high quality print products at very reasonable prices. As somebody who is passionate about photography, I'm excited to see so many people capturing and sharing their own images. From a business perspective, the digital era has also triggered a dramatic increase in the number of people with their own photography businesses. Where I could once name every local photographer, a quick search in Google and Facebook now reveals close to 200 local photographers. Of course competition is good for consumers, it drives down prices, but in this case it is also changing the public's perception of photographers and the services we offer. I am not a "shoot quick and burn it to disk" photographer, that just doesn't work well with the quality of product that I want to offer my clients, but it is the type of service that many people seem to expect today. I had considered dropping the business aspect of my photography so I could simply enjoy shooting for the love of it, but I have to believe that there is still at least a hand full of clients who are looking for a different kind of image and a different type of service.
I was drawn into photography by the images I saw in magazines and galleries. The best of these images would capture my attention and then draw me into the story. When I decided to take photos professionally, I adjusted my perspective to include the more traditional portraits that I believed local clients would expect. While I can execute a traditionally posed portrait with my subject smiling back at the camera, this really isn't the way that I see people. What intrigues me about people, and what I love to photograph, are those moments when the smiling facade slips away and something real manages to show through. Strength, both mental and physical, determination and intensity are things that impress me. Beauty and passion are the things that make life worth living. Getting serious people to show that they are open to the world and their own emotions is a worthy challenge. But, people will never see these things from if what I continue to show is just same happy and smiling portraits that are almost always expected. So, the challenge for me this year is to find a few new clients that want a different kind of portraiture. I want to create portraits that show strength, emotion and beauty and moment when my subjects are not simply smiling back at the camera.
I learn and grow as a photographer through my interactions with people who are open and willing to share their thoughts and ideas. I hope this blog will be a place where I can not only share what I am working on, but where I can give, at least a little, back to the community that has shared with me.
© David Nusbaum Photography