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

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