Thursday, November 25, 2010
This was kind of a late assignment that came up as a last minute replacement for a Sunday story that fell through. The assignment was to shoot Roz Thomas, who after hearing about her life and talking to her, is an incredibly fascinating person. She was active in the civil rights movement, which got a hit put on her by the KKK, as well as was a taxi cab driver, the press secretary for the mayor in Atlanta in the 80's, did Central American mission work and is now a preacher in Texas. Just kinda crazy. So, my job was to a portrait of her. When I'm going to shoot a portrait like this I normally spend a few minutes talking to the person for a couple of reasons. The first being to make them comfortable, if you jump right into it, guns blazing they're not going to be comfortable and your pictures will suck. The other one is just to explore their world, and find a good place to shoot.
So, as we were talking she told me that despite all the different careers she'd already had she still inspired to write the "Great American Novel" and had always wanted her photo taken in her library with all over her books like you see on a book jacket. So I said, "Sure! Let's do it!" I figured this was as good a place as any other and her library was a really cool looking, albeit tiny, room. So, I go and grab my lights, nothing crazy, a two-light set, both on grids 20 degree on her and a 40 degree behind her to light up the room. After taking a few test shot I wanted a little more to the photo and turned down my shutter to add in some ambient. To balance out the light from the other room I ended up shooting a .6 second exposure. I really like the effect that the camera shake gave me, the other room shows up but doesn't distract, plus the books on the other side have a little blur to them too, pushing your eye in on her.