Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting the portrait, part of Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.
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Chris Orwig: Okay, Rodney has agreed to having his portrait taken, which I'm really…excited about. And I want to try to do a couple of different things that…captures a bit of who he is and what he means to me, as far as a photographer…and someone who has influenced me.…So I'm thinking of a couple of different ideas, and I am going to start one off right here.…Chris: Actually, that's a good spot right there. Rodney Smith: Where?…Chris: Right there. Rodney: Okay.…Chris: Actually, a little bit to--okay.…Then I'm going to close this door behind you.…
So here is where the shoot begins.…I'm a little bit excited and nervous.…One of things that I've discovered is that quite often it's helpful to just…begin where you are.…You don't have to over-think those first shots.…Now, it is important to pay attention to details, because so often when we engage…or interact with someone, we're focused on them.…We neglect to look at the background, or what's surrounding them.…But more importantly, or more than anything, I need to just break the ice.…
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.