Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Solution: Ordinary becomes extraordinary, part of 5-Day Photo Challenge: Portraiture.
- All right, so the first challenge was called Ordinary to Extraordinary. It's all about getting out there on location and creating a portrait that was significant and meaningful in a location that wasn't very interesting. Let me talk you through how I tried to solve this challenge, or work out this challenge. We thought about this location with this big, beautiful, white wall, yet when I showed up to the location, it was raining. That spot wasn't going to work, so I started to get a little bit frustrated, thinking, oh no, what am I going to do, especially because this is going to be filmed. Then, my friend Kelley showed up.
One of the things I knew was really important was to connect with the subject. Sometimes as photographers, we can get caught up with the photograph; our own frustrations, and that can prevent us from making that connection, but I knew that was so important. First it was all about making that connection talking a little bit, talking about this motorcycle that Kelley and her husband were restoring, etcetera. Then, it was about problem-solving, trying to find another spot. I found a wall and got Kelley to stand and sit in front of the wall, and I just started to capture some images.
What I'm looking for in my photographs really, is the light in the eyes. It was a nice, soft light because it was in the shadows, in the shade, with a little bit of an overhang above. I wanted the eyes to sparkle and be bright. In order to have some life in the eyes, I find it's really helpful to talk with the person you're photographing, just to be casual, and to be warm and that's okay if a few of those moments mean that the pictures won't be good. Just shoot through that. So that's what I'm doing, trying out shooting in front of a white wall, and also this black piece of foam core, as well.
After I finished shooting in that location, I wanted to try something else out; not because I didn't think the location was good, but because I've learned from experience, variety is so crazy important. What I've found, is sometimes I'll shoot in a spot and think it's perfect, and then get back to my computer and realize it wasn't. I just like to have the option, so we walked over 20 feet or so, and this area was a bit more covered. There were more shadows there, different type of light. Again was focusing in on those eyes trying to draw the viewer into that part of the picture.
Brought in that black piece of foam core, as well. All right, well, that's how I attempted to solve this particular challenge, and with this challenge, one of the things that I was thinking about throughout it all again, was that connection, and also trying to make a simple and strong photograph. If your photographs didn't turn out the first time you tried this, you can always try it again, and also be sure to come back where I'll share with you another challenge, so that you can keep practicing and improving your people photography skills.
Remember to share your results on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #5DayPhoto.