From Bryant Park to Broadway: A Photoshoot Narrative

At the time I write this post, it’s been close to four years since I entered the photoshoot game. Taking portraits is a lot of fun just as is very challenging, and every photographer brings their own individual approach. Mine has evolved to be engaging and casual. Little do I care about technical stuff, and seldom do I look at the back of the camera or take note of my settings when shooting with film. I love capturing natural expressions, and for that reason, I turn my full attention to the subject I’m working with, so if anything goes wrong, I’ll worry about it after the shoot to figure out what I need to address the next time I shoot.I understand that right now, I’m in a privileged position as this is just a creative endeavor, so not needing to conform to a brief or the expectations of a client provides me a safety net to expand on previous setbacks.

In recent shoots, my results have been consistent, and so far, I have managed to capture shots that match my vision. So, with the majority of my subjects being female, I always look forward to any opportunity that involves working with a male subject; building a diversified body of work is important to me, and most definitely it’s not really cool when all you have to show for are pictures of attractive ladies.

This photoshoot with Russell went for almost an hour. We met at Bryant Park, my usual place to meet with talent these days, and we shot more portraits around Times Square and Broadway. By the time we began to shoot, Russell had explained to me that he didn’t have experience working with a photographer until that point, and he was drawn to my style of shooting when he saw me working with Tatiana a few weeks earlier. Hearing that from Russell was reassuring to me in that how I work on a photoshoot makes people feel comfortable, even if they’re by-standards.

Russell is taller than me, so my initial hurdle was to nail a good headshot, which required me standing on a sturdy, folding chair so I could shoot from a higher angle. We met past noon, and the light was beginning to set, and that gave us some flexibility on how we started the photoshoot. My initial thought was to emphasize backlighting, and looking back, I realized I should have used a wider Fstop to isolate him a little more from a nearby crowd.

My dynamics in photographing a male subject is not any different to a female. I look for visual anchors that grab my attention, that in fewer cases, have little to do with appearance.