Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Searching For A Nice Portrait

Today I felt a little creative when I went to take a portrait for the Styles section's InnerView. I never know what to expect from these assignments when most of them occur over an interview with a reporter. Most of the InnerViews are features of individuals who are being recognized for things they did prior to the day of the shoot. There is no re-creation in my job. This generally makes it a time to capture a nice portrait photo so people can see a face that belongs to the story.

Today's InnerView was of a a woman named Jean Phillips who had polio as a young girl. She had make a lifelong commitment to help those with disabilities. Phillips was very nice and welcoming. She was confined to her bed in the living room of her home, but that didn't seem to get her down.

I started to photograph her in her environment with an overall shot, then some medium shots and a couple closeups. The images were nice, but it lacked the creativity of inspiration. When looking around for another shot I turned my back to Phillips, and to my excitement saw a mirror that was framed with pictures of kids. I asked Phillips, "Is this your family?" She responded, "Yes." The idea was set. I spent the next several minutes not even facing Phillips, but looking away from her taking shots of her reflected in the mirror.

Jean Phillips is reflected in a mirror framed with pictures of her family. Phillips had polio as a young woman and has a lifelong commitment to people with disabilities. She looks back at her life while in her home Wednesday January 7, 2009 in Orland, Calif. She has raised three daughters and received an award from Butte County Coordinating Council for making a difference for people with disabilities. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)

I made sure my aperture was small enough so that the depth of field would pick up detail in the pictures, and have my subject in focus. Low light made it hard to hand hold at 1/20 a second. But a few turned out. I only needed one of her smiling, and I did.

No comments:

Post a Comment