The Difficult Thing About Finding Portrait Subjects Amongst 100 Million People

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto AcuteB2 MaxRiche KumbhMela 08 600x449 The Difficult Thing About Finding Portrait Subjects Amongst 100 Million People

©Max Riche

Max Riche traveled to Kumbh Mela, the largest pilgrimage in the world, to shoot some portraits. Needless to say, he had no problem finding subjects. But there were other challenges.

You might not know what Kumbh Mela is, but a lot of people sure do. And when we say a lot, we do mean a lot. Kumbh Mela is namely the Hindu’s most important pilgrimage, considered to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world. More than 100 million people participate and bathe together in one of the four sacred rivers in India. Last year, the number of participants hit an all-time high, making it the largest gathering in the history of mankind. In other words, a photographer looking for subjects had no trouble finding them.

Enter Max Riche, advertising and editorial photographer based in Paris and Montréal. Max was at Kumbh Mela last year. Now, what was a French advertising and editorial photographer doing shooting portraits in India you might ask?

“On the side of my advertising work, I’ve always kept a body of personal work growing,” he says. “I think it’s important to keep doing work that matters to you from a personal standpoint. This was such a project. Read More

Watch 20 Brave Women Fighting a Horrible Disease Forget Their Problems For a Second

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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We know were a little late on the ball with this one, but this video is just too heartwarming not too share.

If you haven’t heard it already, here’s the story:

If Only for a Second is a charity project organized by Leo Burnett France and the Mimi Foundation, a Belgian organization working with families affected by cancer. The purpose of the project was to give 20 brave women fighting this terrible disease the opportunity to forget their struggle – if only for a second.  So a team of professional make-up artists and stylists teamed up to give 20 extreme makeovers, including dreads, mullets and fake facial tattoos. The women had to keep their eyes closed during the entire process, and when they finally were allowed to open their eyes again and look themselves in the mirror, photographer Vincent Dixon was there to capture their surprise and that brief moment of carefree joy.

The video above shows the entire process –  from idea to shoot to the applauded exhibition of these astonishing portraits.

Read more about the project and order the photo book that came out of it here.

You should also check out Vincent’s website.

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Victoria Will’s Three Minutes with Al Pacino

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto Victoria Will Al Pacino 1 600x800 Victoria Wills Three Minutes with Al Pacino

©Victoria Will

There are no second chances in celebrity photographer Victoria Will’s line of work. For instance, she had only three minutes to get the shot with Al Pacino. But she nailed it. Read the story and learn how.

“This kind of shoots are always a challenge,” says Victoria. “They don’t tell me what kind of room we’ll shoot in, what clothes the subject will wear or how much time we’ll have. Well, they say ten minutes. They always say ten minutes. But you never get it. It’s like a final exam every single time.”

Victoria’s shoot with actor Al Pacino was no exception. All she knew beforehand was that the shoot would take place in a certain hotel at a certain time.

“So, I did what I always try to do. I showed up a couple of hours early. As it turned out, the shoot would be done in the penthouse in a very ornate, luxurious hotel. It looked like Versailles. This was a bit of a problem, as I wasn’t shooting Louis XIV. I was shooting Al Pacino. You don’t put Al Pacino against a floral fabric.” Read More

Brent Lewin Brings his Flash Pack to the World’s Largest Camel Fair

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto AcuteB2 flash pack Brent Lewin 06 600x400 Brent Lewin Brings his Flash Pack to the World’s Largest Camel Fair

©Brent Lewin/Redux

Brent Lewin is a documentary photographer whose images can be seen in publications such as National Geographic, New York Times and Newsweek. Based in Hong Kong now as a staff photographer with Bloomberg, Brent’s driving spirit is his curiosity. He wants to explore and meet new people, learn their stories and share them with the world. Here is one such story, shot and written by Brent himself.

These portraits were shot in India’s Rajasthan state during the Pushkar camel mela. Each year at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon, up to 20,000 camels descend on the sand dunes surrounding Pushkar to take part in the world’s largest camel fair.

The men in these photos are Rabari, a nomadic community found in Rajasthan and Gujarat whose identity, going back to the time of creation, is linked to the camel. The story goes that the goddess Parvati created a 5-legged animal out of clay that resembled a cow. She asked her husband Shiva to give life to the animal but he remarked that it looked odd and wasn’t practical. So he took the fifth leg and pushed it upwards through the body so there was a bump on the top of the torso. The hump on a camel is believed to be the top of the leg. If you look at the underside of the camel they have a small-calloused bump that looks like a foot, which is believed to be the foot of the leg poking out. After life was given to the camel Parvati asked who would care for this animal. So Shiva rubbed his chest and used his dried skin to make a small puppet. He mixed some milk from the banyan tree with the puppet and it was given life and this is how the Rabari were created. Read More

Photographer Klara G Tries the New Profoto Umbrella Deep

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto Umbrella Deep Klara G 2 600x750 Photographer Klara G Tries the New Profoto Umbrella Deep

©Klara G for Anna Ekre

Swedish photographer Klara G says her assistants have nicknamed her the umbrella lady. Why? Because she loves working with umbrellas!

“There are several reasons why I love working with umbrellas,” says Klara. “The most important is, of course, the light they create. I’m very inspired by classic portrait paintings, and if you take a closer look at these, there is usually just as single angled light source. An umbrella is the perfect tool for recreating that effect – that natural yet slightly mystical light.

“I also love the catch light you get with an umbrella. You don’t get that square reflection you get with most softboxes. Instead, you get a beautiful, round reflection. The umbrella’s large, round shape is also great for creating a natural vignette around the subject, which is something I tend to do quite often.”

Apart from the artistic reasons, there are also practical reasons to why Klara prefers working with umbrellas.

“Umbrellas are very easy to work with. They are meant to fold, so they are obviously very easy to bring along and mount and dismount. They are also uncomplicated in terms of light shaping, which means that I can focus on the interaction with the person in front of the camera – their eyes, their facial expression.” Read More