A question I'm always asked is, "How do you come up with your ideas?" Well, a good question, indeed.
I usually start with doing do some research on my subject, well in advance. Who are they? What are they all about? What are they into? This will usually give me some direction on which way to go, but, as an artist, it's ultimately our choice in the end. To be a good portrait photographer you must have your own point of view, your own style, your vision. Don't shoot like someone else. Do what you feel. Do what comes from your heart.
When shoot day comes you'll find that sometimes your ideas work, sometimes they fail miserably. Your subject might not like your idea, or better yet, they may give you something you never expected. Be ready for anything. Be loose enough to go with the "creative flow" while staying true to your style. You might get a better image than you ever expected.
Before I worked with Artie Lange I found out he is a huge New York Yankees fan. Plus, he has a wonderfully gritty face. So I imagined him as an old time player. Babe Ruth era, right? He LOVED the idea. During the shoot, I liked the picture, but felt I needed something more. Something to make the picture a "bit more special." When Artie asked to take a cigarette break, presto! I had my idea. That added element of him smoking gave the picture a personality. It made it Artie and it made it MINE. My vision.
After years of practice, I'm still learning to be open to anything that can happen during the creative process.And if you're open to doing the same you'll notice a BIG change in your own work.
Portrait photography is about people, yet the ability to relate effectively to our subjects is not an innate talent. A gifted storyteller and skilled technician, Paul demonstrates how to tell a person’s unique story in:
People of Character: Capturing the Soul of Your Subject
with Paul Mobley
July 31 - August 3, 201