Portraiture

Pregnant with ideas.

This post is for those who have a desire to want to create imagery with an eye for making a living from it. To give you an idea as to how I think and approach a job here are two images from two very different shoots, but similar in that the subjects are pregnant.

Pic 1. Was a pregnancy based around surrogacy and the two sisters were eagerly awaiting the arrival. How do you convey that? Answer. Well lets use a new soft toy on the end of a fishing line, as if to say, hurry up babes, were waiting for you. The respective partners were put into shot doing what men can only do, wait. This image worked so well and made a very lovely canvas print. Shot on a jetty near the clients home, lighting was natural supplemented with flash through a softbox.

Surrogacy pregnancy on a jetty.

Surrogacy pregnancy on a jetty.

Pic 2. How do you come up with something that can say as much about the pregnant belly as the family and the husbands vocation? He's an artist. My answer was. Lets turn this into art. The subject coming out of the canvas, connected, yet separate. Clean and simple. a really nice print. Lighting was again natural supplemented with flash, turned down so you don't notice.

New pregnant art.

New pregnant art.

So when someone asks you to make a picture for them, think outside the box, ask yourself lots of questions that challenge you to create, or you could just be a person with a camera and no idea.

Gustavius Payne. Welsh Artist.

With iron ore and coal in the plenty and within easy reach of the sea, my home town, Merthyr Tydfil became the birth place of industrial activity in Wales, this in turn led to make an impression upon image-makers. Even greats such as J. M. W. Turner himself, who was probably commissioned by Anthony Bacon , a co-founder of Cyfarthfa works to visit.

So it seemed only fitting that while we were on holiday's and staying down the valley in Pontypridd with my mother in-law that I try to make an image of one of Merthyr's well know artists, Gustavius Payne.

I can't remember how I came to find out about Gus other than an inclination of an artist from Merthyr. It just took a little probing around on Google to find who it was I half remembered. It just so happened he was having an exhibition at Redhouse Cymru, an arts and creative industries center in the Old Town Hall, late Victorian Grade listed building in the heart of town.

After our first hand shake and pleasantries I wondered around looking at Gus's work, talking, trying to come up with an idea that would show some of Gus' work along with a strong image of the man himself. I just didnt want a, stand in front of a piece and look this way photo. That was going to be the easy way out. Saying nothing about me as the photographer and not really saying anything about the sitter.

Image 1, was my first set-up. I used the gallery structure to help me layer levels on a flat piece of film, giving it depth, something Gus' work had. Having Gus stand partially obscured by a wall, framed between two of his works made him the center of attention and yet still connected to his work.

Image 2, I wanted to move beyond the still image and try and introduce an almost painterly effect, having him be connected to his work. not quite in the painting and yet part of it. This was achieved by two exposures on the same frame. It took a little go as some of the frames the body movement was a little too extreme or not enough. This one I feel works best, still a portrait as his features are still visible but the painting still intrudes into Gus.

Image 3, This time a very simple approach, a head shot but still using the multiple two frames on one technique. This came about from an idea that sprang in to my head while shooting. Industry, strong, visionary.

As I was on holiday I didn't have all my kit so I shot them all with the natural light that was coming in from right side through large big Victorian windows. I could kill for a space like this to shoot in all the time.

I have to say a big thank you to Gus for giving me the time and not looking at me too strangely when I requested him move a number of times to get the frame right.

Image 1, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 1, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 2, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 2, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 3, Gus Payne, artist.

Image 3, Gus Payne, artist.