This one was actually done during lighting setup and test, with dramatic lighting effects added in processing, later.
My cousin, Frank, was in need of fresh headshots to update what his agency sends out, and I was asked to make them.
Now this isn’t what an actor’s headshot really is, but it looks so much like a movie still, that I gave it some Hollywood magic to take it Just a bit further toward the Dramatic.
What was he thinking, that gave him that taught drama? It wasn’t his grocery list; he was more or less concentrating on a shot I had just made. I attach my camera to a handy TV nearby so he can see what we’re creating as we work. Sometimes it helps.. sometimes it gets in the way of the flow; this time, it was catalyst for pretty nice serendipity, considering he is going for film gigs.
For years, as a “professional ogler” (a newspaper staff photographer), I simultaneously explored photography as craft/process/medium in its own right. The photojournalism work –credentials and mindset– got me into (and out of) places I would certainly never have had access to on my own. I was also practicing the discipline of getting a picture where there didn’t appear to be one and getting it Finished in a timely manner, to professional standards. I also learned to create imminently readable images despite poor reproduction in a small size. Though it took me several years to get this, the value of making photos that illustrated something already laid out in the story was suddenly Not Enough, and I began to make assignment pictures that added dimensions not already in the writing, or better Yet, raised questions so that the reader would go to the story for more answers.
Having gained more than dreamt of, when starting out, I left to pursue my own personal photography, mounting exhibits along the way. I also worked with commercial photographer friends doing studio product photography, and making headshots for actors.
Later, I also helmed a Public Radio “spacemusic” program, and acted in a Wilmington, NC drama company.
I put the cameras away for a few years, to finish shedding the habit of self-limiting my identity as just “Photographer”, and can now pursue personal pleasure and expression through the freedom that digital imaging offers.
Sharing photos on Flickr and participating locally in meetups and outings has renewed a passion for making new images and for sharing the process with others. For some time, I’ve found myself writing detailed comments on other people’s photos, as well as thoughts and pet ideas about photography, in general.
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