Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Faces | 2012 Project

Faces is a personal project for 2012 aimed at challenging myself to take better and more frequent portraits of real everyday people. A mixture of candid and posed, close-up and environmental portraits. I continually challenge myself to endeavor to capture the essence of the person I am photographing.

I love that every face tells a story and each person is unique.  I begun in early 2012 photographing Dutch locals in Amsterdam, especially one of my favourite areas; the De Negen Straatjes or 9 Streets.  My method:  once I see a person who I think would be suitable for a portrait, I simply approach them and ask if I can take their portrait.  Usually they are surprised but reluctantly agree, however some people aren’t interested.  I have no solid rules for composition or the style of portrait, but try and capture a little about the person, or their environment.  I take only a few frames, some full length, and some close-up once the subject has warmed up to me and the camera, usually they are now laughing at my very basic dutch or lame jokes. 

I have enjoyed meeting and passing the photos onto the subjects, and I look forward to photographing people in over three continents as my wife and I travel around the world in 2012.

For more from this project see my Portfolio Site

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Katy | Portraits | Amsterdam

Katy is a beautiful young American girl making a difference far away from home.  Instead of working in high end salons in San Diego or at an extreme sports summer camp she now lives and works in the heart of Amsterdam in the De Wallen or Red Light District.  Katy’s goal as an abolitionist is to help stop the trafficking of young woman into brothels and the sex trade in Amsterdam.  Trained in Cosmetology, she aims to establish a salon that can restore, train and provide a way out for the hundreds of girls that are trafficked from Europe to work abroad as sex slaves.
The sun was low, on a Sunday afternoon when my assistant and I met Katie in a quiet Amsterdam neighbourhood for a casual portrait shoot.

For more portraits check out my Portfolio Site

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Old Man Jack | Faces 2012 | Amsterdam

I first spotted [Jack] sitting in what I can only assume is perfect newspaper reading light. His only company was a near empty glass of red wine as he sat reading the newspaper, drifting from sleep to awake leaning back in his chair, oblivious to the dull hum of the busy neighbourhood cafe.  The light, setting and subject was perfect. [Jack] was a perfect candid environmental portrait subject.  But after I had put the camera away, I noticed [Jack] pick up his wine glass.  His frail old hands shaking , making this simple task a minute long ordeal.  I am powerfully reminded of my own grandfather Alexander Smith at the age of 80 attempting to eat soup with hands that would shake wildly due to a disease that attacked his nerves.