The Story Behind the Accidential Yet Award-winning Portrait of the Queen of Sweden

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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The Story Behind the Accidential Yet Award winning Portrait of the Queen of SwedenSTOR  MG 0164 600x900 The Story Behind the Accidential Yet Award winning Portrait of the Queen of Sweden

©Rickard L. Eriksson

Rickard L. Eriksson was asked to take the Queen of Sweden’s portrait. Doing so, Rickard accidentally managed to catch the Queen off guard and got an award-winning portrait in the process. Keep reading for the full story.

Queen Silvia of Sweden recently celebrated her seventieth birthday. The anniversary was to be commemorated by a lavish tabletop book, documenting the Queen’s life as a professional woman. The book would, of course, feature portraits of the Queen – portraits that Rickard L. Eriksson was asked to shoot.

“My first thought was to create images that felt natural yet styled,” says Rickard. “Differently put, I wanted the images to feel documentary yet royal. However, getting that documentary feel is easier said than done when working with royalty. In most cases you’re allowed very little time to do your job, which means you’ll most likely end up with a formal portrait of a posing person. But in this case I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Queen. I believe this created a much more relaxed and personal vibe on the shoot.” Read More

While Most Photographers Try to Stop the Kids from Doing Silly Faces, Greg Koch Pushes Them to Do Even Sillier

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto Greg Koch 1 While Most Photographers Try to Stop the Kids from Doing Silly Faces, Greg Koch Pushes Them to Do Even Sillier

©Greg Koch

If you’ve ever tried photographing kids, you’re no stranger to silly faces. But while most of us who put these shots in the drawer, San Fransisco-based photographer Greg Koch saves and frames the silly faces only. 

“When I initially approached my son’s school with the idea of doing a photo project for their art class, I hadn’t yet realized the concept of silly faces,” says Greg Koch. “I only knew I wanted to do a studio shoot. I had just purchased a Profoto Pro-B4 pack and was eager to test it before a couple of client shoots I had the following week.

“When preparing for the shoot in the studio with my son, I kept trying to get a smile out of him.  He, in turn, kept making silly faces.  That’s when inspiration struck. Why should I try to get all of these kids to do something as unnatural as posing?  Wouldn’t it be better to shoot them with all their natural charisma and energy?  The idea felt very natural and I decided to push forward with it. The Silly Faces project was born.”

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On Location Portrait Photography at the Back of the Stage

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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 On Location Portrait Photography at the Back of the Stage

©Adam Krause

On location portrait photography often requires intuitive thinking and fast decisions. But Adam Krause’s portrait of playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah is evidence that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

New York-based portrait photographer Adam Krause was asked to photograph playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah at the Center Stage in Baltimore, where Kwei-Armah is the Creative Director. The images were to be published together with an upcoming magazine article, but as Adam did not know the angle of the article, he decided to go for a strong portrait that tied together Kwei-Armah with the theatre.

This meant that Adam had to shoot on location. Things were further complicated by the fact that he had only 30 minutes with Kwei-Armah to get his shot. “The biggest challenge was the lack of time,” says Adam. “Since this was an out-of-town shoot, we didn’t have enough time to arrive the day before, do a location scout, and come up with a game plan. So the very second we arrived at the location and brought in our equipment, we had to think as sharply as possible!”

 

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What Do Miles Davis, Mick Jagger & Muhammed Ali Have in Common?

Written by Harley Anderson on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto William Coupon Miles 600x573 What Do Miles Davis, Mick Jagger & Muhammed Ali Have in Common?

©William Coupon

Question: what do Miles Davis, Mick Jagger, Muhammed Ali, Neil Young and Alicia Keys have in common? Answer: they’ve all had their portraits taken by William Coupon. Harley Anderson has met an extraordinary portrait photographer. Seize this opportunity to learn some of his secrets.

If you talk to William Coupon about his work long enough, the phrase “keeping things simple” inevitably comes up. Simplicity runs rampant in William Coupon’s world. His photographs, be they studio still-lifes or the bold portraiture he’s best known for, embody simplicity in a number of ways.

Before going digital, Coupon’s camera of choice was a twin-lens Rolleiflex with a fixed normal lens – the epitome of simplicity and the camera of choice for many of the best portrait photographers of the past half-century. Though he has long parked his Rolleiflex and transitioned to a Canon EOS system, William Coupon still approaches his work with the same sense of discipline he acquired when he first learned his craft.

The term simplicity can be equally applied to Coupon’s chiaroscuro-style lighting formula, a signature lighting style that has manifested itself in the form of 20 covers of Time Magazine, including all of the presidents from Nixon to Bush II. Other notables who have sat before Coupon’s handmade mottled backdrops include Mick Jagger, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, Neil Young, Secretary of State George Shultz, Elie Wiesel, Banazir Bhutto, Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, and Prince Phillip. Read More

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