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