Saturday, January 16, 2010

State Photographer of Texas...

There is NOTHING I hate more than shooting photos of other photographers, so when I got the assignment to shoot photos of Wyman Meinzer I looked at it as both something cool and miserable at the same time. Wyman is an incredible photographer and a really interesting guy. He lives in Benjamin, about 90 miles north of Abilene, and until a few years ago when he "grew out of it" he lived in the county jail. Well, at least it used to be the jail. Wyman is also the state photographer of Texas. That's what our story was about this time, a profile on him and his work, which is fantastic.

Now, one of my reasons I hate shooting other photogs so much is because we all seem to have fairly large egos. The other reason is you always get the feeling that the photog/subject is going to sit there and question everything you do, if not aloud, but in there mind... at least that's what I'd do. Wyman was actually really cool to work with. It was pretty cool too, the hat he was wearing for the photo was one he bought back in the 60's and I thought it just looked really cool and fit his personality well and suggested he wear it for the photo.

So, my idea was to go up there and shoot a portrait of him in his jail. The way he had it redone looked really cool and there were a lot items he had from his fur trapping days. I went with a pretty simple set up for the lights, I had one light on him with a warming gel and another behind the couch to light the background. I shot from a low angle because I thought him boots looked really cool and fit his personality. I knew the photo would run big, so I wasn't too worried about shooting wide and his face being too small to read. I think it worked out really well. Shooting fun portraits like this doesn't happen as much anymore, so I have to make the best when I get them.

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