Photo Essay

Pause for a Portrait?

The Natural

I got into photography because as a child my mother gave me a collection of photos by Robert Doisneau in a calender. The beautiful black and white images of ordinary people on the streets of ordinary cities were captured in a way that took my breath away. There was something profoundly unique about each person he included in his photos. How did he do that?

As the years went on I collected Time Life and National Geographic magazines and would pour over the portraits of people from all walks of life. Amazing. How did they do that?

When I finally took my first photography class in high school I realized it was harder than it looked. However, over time, observing a few more inspiring photographers (check out Brendan Baker's work on JPG) and a lot of pictures later I began to understand. It is all about people watching and being brave.

I think most people like to people watch. Human beings are interesting and unique. All you have to do is watch and wait for that moment when their personality erupts onto the scene. Sometimes blazing and sometimes quietly in a gentle glance. I have enjoyed wandering around on my own watching and sometimes chatting with people - always keeping an eye out for that moment when I can gesture with my camera and ask if I can capture it.

My friends have gotten used to suddenly becoming a portrait - sometimes mid-conversation or even mid-hair cut! I have enjoyed the process and the outcomes.

I do not think my work is comparable to those I would consider great photographers but I will continue to strive to take great pictures that are worthy of those I have the opportunity to capture. After all, photography is about being brave and trusting in your own eye. It is about being ready to pause the moment for the portrait.

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4 responses


    Burak BAYINDIRLI gave props (4 Dec 2008):

    Beautiful captures, deep into photography...

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams gave props (4 Dec 2008):

    Great shots and a wonderful story.

  • Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman gave props (4 Dec 2008):

    Very good. I love the moments that you have frozen.

  • Jean Ann Kozlowski

    Jean Ann Kozlowski said (9 Dec 2008):

    Nice! I sense a peaceful, good spiritied guy with creative eye...and a camera.

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