Recapping the fun I had shooting headshots with Ryane Watkins last week, on the fifteenth floor of the Wyndham Beacon Hill.Continue reading
As I practice lighting, I’ve been thinking about what makes one of my portraits one of my portraits. At the surface, skill, familiarity, and necessary tools are important. I think those can be considered technique. Under technique is intention; the reason to make a technical decision. And beside, or perhaps under, that, is emotion; that knowing when to click the shutter, and knowing which shot best shows your intention.
I’ve been thinking about combining my two photographic loves: the abstraction and the portrait. Not necessarily to make an abstract portrait (though I do want to try more of that, too!), but to make my portraits more mine.
I’m after a “geometric portrait”
The last few weeks I’ve been collecting images that represent some of these ideas, typically as discrete approaches I’d have to synthesize. There are some photographers doing something close enough to what I’m interested in that they can offer guidance. Nick Fancher (who also literally wrote the book on building a portable studio) has some great ideas. I’m not sure where I want to go with this yet, but I know I’m interested in integrating humans into my abstractions, fleshing out these abstract little worlds. That might be in post-production, or a method that straddles production and post.
Or just keep it simple
I could also approach these geometric portraits the way a lot of photographers do: just place my subject in front of an interesting background. A few weeks ago I was back in Albuquerque, shooting for a bunch of friends and family. One of those portrait sessions was for Román, my little brother of sorts.
Román just graduated from high school. After I was certain they wanted “Whatever you want,” I figured it was safe to experiment.
So after some safe, “traditional” shots, we made some of the pictures I saw in my head. Román in front of Zimmerman Library at UNM. Román on a checkered grid. Román next to a sliver a door, like an opening to another world. All while pushing my hermanito to give me real, complex emotion.
They liked them, and I liked them. This is a strange, pointy tip of an iceberg. At the end of the day, anyone can learn the skills to light someone’s face beautifully. Fewer people can coach them to show themselves honestly. And fewer of those seem to want to wrap the whole image in a unique compositional vision. That’s where I want to go. Geometric portraits.
That’s, maybe, my next new thing.
Sometimes you meet someone who makes meeting someone seem so easy.Continue reading
Durán is an architect, a hip hop connoisseur, and an art collector.Continue reading
My new dancer friend Remy came over to make portraits.Continue reading
Even before the start, my mother guided me toward photography—and now, she helps me navigate it.Continue reading
I went to Santa Fe to say farewell to Cloacas, my favorite local band.Continue reading
In this country, we tell narrow, problematic, and unfair stories of blackness, and I think portraiture could be a solution.Continue reading
Welcome to Road to Rich’s 2017! There was snowpack, sunburn, margaritas, dancing, and so much music.Continue reading
In March my friend Gabriel invited me to participate in a photography show celebrating New Mexico-born women of color.Continue reading
Last Friday I undertook the holy walk to Chimayó, New Mexico.Continue reading
Evolution bleed: the unrepeatable way the heart decides the art you’ll make.Continue reading