Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Reviewing the plan for the shoot, part of Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.
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Before we review and evaluate the photographs, I always find it's helpful to…step back just a little bit, because there are so many thoughts that really lead…up to trying to create those images.…And before I went to New York, I pulled out my journal.…This is often where I begin.…I begin with words, and I start to write down things that I thought about…that related to Rodney.…So I write his name in the middle of a page, and then I just write words that come to mind.…Here are a few: illuminate, approachable, order, whimsical, intriguing, elegant, reveal,…cadence, symmetry. And again, my intent here is just to build almost a picture,…to articulate what I think, how I feel, because when I go to create a…portrait, I want it to be my portrait, not someone else's--not what someone…else thinks, but what I think.…
And so again, I begin to write that down in my journal.…Well, next what I do is sketch a little bit, and this is my form of…storyboarding, and here you can view a few of my sketches.…I'd never been to Rodney's space, his home, or studio.…
The course begins with a wide-ranging conversation between Chris and Rodney, during which they discuss Rodney's work, his approach to photography and models, his love of film and of black and white, and the importance of creating photographs that both ask questions and tell stories. Next, Chris tours Rodney Smith's studio, including the darkroom, to get more familiar with Rodney before photographing him.
Chris then takes a series of portraits of Rodney. Along the way, he reviews his gear choices and the compositional decisions he makes, and discusses the importance of committing photographs to paper, particularly in today's digital age. Finally, Chris reviews the images and shares some insights from his conversation with Rodney.