11-19-11 Melissa

Melissa looks a little sad here but she was one of the more ebullient subjects I had the pleasure to photograph. She was a dancer and actively involved in theater and made posing very simple. And she had many great looks.

Here, we are in an abandoned building in Gary, SD, in 2002. I had found a broken window that faced north and told her to pose by the edge. I got beautiful wrap-around Rembrandt lighting.

Incidentally, one rule of thumb in portraiture is that you should avoid having the subject show the back of his/her hand to the camera and I break that rule here. Frankly, I didn’t know the rule 10 years ago. I did use the “Burn” tool in Photoshop to make the hand a darker shade than the face. Why is there a rule about this? Well, partly because the back of the hand is fairly nondescript and also because any other bright object in a portrait competes with the face. And generally, portrait photographers don’t want that.

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