Wow. I’m actually quite surprised at where this portrait experiment has taken me so far.
I’m quite a thinker anyway, an over-thinker some might say, yet only 8 days into this challenge it feels like I wasn’t thinking at all before.
I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures of people over landscapes and scenery but posting these portraits has really started me thinking on a deeper level about what kind of portraits I delight over. I keep coming back to my portraits of musicians. Why did this not stand out to me before? I’m not sure, maybe as I’m not a musician myself it wasn’t that obvious. But the beauty of a portrait of a musician is seeing their passion coming alive right in front of your eyes. Musicians take it to another place , they go somewhere else, they connect to whoever or whatever their muse might be and it makes them shine.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”- Howard Thurman
I’ve always had close friends who are musicians and I never really believed that to be intentional but now I’m starting to wonder whether it is a subconscious thing. I like the idea that we naturally surround ourselves with people that inspire us. It should be that way anyway. I feel really lucky and I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the people who I have had the chance to know and the opportunities I have had to capture people in the process of expressing themselves. In doing so they help me to express myself too.
To those people I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing what you do. Please keep doing it!
From one musician to another. I’m not obsessed I promise (well only with photographing people doing what they love) I really wanted to pick this portrait for today’s post because I was browsing through the whole shoot a few days ago and this is the one that always jumps out at me. It’s from a shoot about 6 months ago with amazingly talented harpist Alexander Thomas. (@alexthomasmusic) This is probably my absolute favourite image from the shoot and you can see more here.
Although his face is sort of obstructed you can still see the emotion on his face through the harpstrings and it is seeing that and feeling that connection at the time I was taking the photo which is what makes me love photographing musicians. Alex hadn’t expected to necessarily play his harp on the shoot but just be photographed with it. A while into the shoot I asked him to play a little and wow, the sounds literally travelled on the wind and echoed all around us. I’ve never heard anything quite like it. It was heavenly and incredibly inspiring . So I suppose I’m realising that’s one of the biggest factors for me in my favourite portraits. What the person is doing or what you ask them to do can make or break an image. 5 days in and I’m already learning, I like it!
I’d love to hear what makes a great portrait for you. Get in touch or comment below.
Today’s portrait is of guitarist Max Giegerich. He is in an awesome band called Welcome to Marathon. I may feature some of his lovely bandmates at some point.
I slightly over exposed this shot but I took several more photos with different exposures and ended up liking this look. It made me think about atmosphere in an image . I think it adds sort of a spiritual aspect to the photo. Maybe because the background is blown out, you can’t tell where he is so it makes it purely about the subject. Just one man and his guitar making beautiful music.
Check back tomorrow for the next portrait in my portrait challenge.