Sometimes a fleeting thought rises up through the dusty burned out barnyard that is my brain and implores me to do more portrait work. Then I quickly remember my own fears and the notion fades faster than a military barber buzzing out a high and tight. It is something I’d like to work on, but it’s going to take some real effort and some real discomfort. Not to mention some subjects willing to work through what’s sure to be lots of awkward everything—and lots of bad photos.
Thinking back to my Art Class Days when I cut my teeth doing pencil work, portraiture was the last world I entered. I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it. Eventually I broke down and gave it a go. My high school senior year concentration project wound up being drawn portraits of The Beatles. It was surely a challenge with plenty of pain points, but it wound up being a great period of personal and technical development. Were the pictures great? No. But they wound up being the best things I’ve ever drawn. (I’ve since abandoned drawing altogether. Essentially right after this project. Let’s hope this does not a pattern make.)
A decade and a half later, into photos now, I am thinking it is getting close to time I bring this broadening of horizons to my lens work. As with this shot, I imagine I’ll dabble more with myself as a subject. Admittedly this is hard in its own right because I am holding a camera to my face and hoping for the best compositionally. Spray and pray shutter action. It would be much better behind the lens with an actual subject. But hey, baby steps. Not only am I going to have to get comfortable with a new kind of subject—a human—I will also have to learn how to use artificial lighting. Being a landscape only guy this is completely foreign to me. But I won’t get nuts with flashes, strobes, etc. until I at least become serviceable in the craft and decide if it’s worth pursuing further.
So any friends want some new profile pics? No guarantees on quality.