So I was looking for a connector for my iPad yesterday, which I hadn’t seen since May. And though I didn’t find the connector, I did find a collection of DVDs of senior portraits I had taken in the summer of 2004. And when I saw “Allison R” on one of the labels, I immediately remembered this particular outfit and pose.
Allison was a beautiful subject who came to the session with many props and ideas. I am always worried when a portrait subject says he or she wants to bring a prop. I usually ask two questions: 1)Is it living? 2)Is it bigger than your face?
The first question is because living things (boy friends, snakes, cats, dogs, parrots, etc) can be challenging, though I’ll takes snakes over the other animals listed.
The second question is because, if you ask me (who is admittedly old fashioned), I think a portrait is about the face.
In Allison’s case, she brought her cello (bigger than her face but OK by me) and a huge, hot pink prom dress. The prom dress begged for a high-key treatment and that’s what we ended up doing. Allison liked this photo and so did I, largely because she is very comfortable in the shot and she has a wonderful, relaxed smile. Allison ordered this photo in color and when I did some basic re-editing today, I decided to convert it to black and white, maybe because I am even more old fashioned than I used to be – I don’t want you to be distracted by the bright color of her dress.
I have been writing a bit about what is “real” in the last few posts and I think that this is the “real” Allison. And that’s what portrait photographers should always strive to capture.