My October Challenge was so successful for me personally, and for the handful that participated, that I decided I want to continue growing and stretching my abilities. So I took some time this month to look at more areas of photography where I could use some work. I spent a good deal of energy flipping through pages of Zooomr, Flickr, and many photography blogs searching for genres of photography that interest me, but I lack the skill. Many ideas came to mind, but I continually kept coming back to portraits.
So, without further adieu…
For the month of December I will be shooting portraits. This time I won’t be committing to shooting only my topic all month. This challenge will be to shoot a portrait a day. One a day, each day, for the whole month of December.
Back at the beginning of October I was introduced to the photography of Bill Wadman. Bill is a New York based portrait photographer who completely rocks. During this whole year, 2007, he has been viciously attacking his own challenge to shoot a portrait a day, all year long! You can follow along, and see the year’s total so far, at 365Portraits.com.
Next, I sent out a call to my photoblogging friends, in search of the best existing blog posts about creating portraits, and I’ve been reading up on their tips. Here’s a short list of some good articles I’ve read:
- Photographing The People of Monterrey: Epic Edits
- How to bypass the Portrait Mode on Your Digital Camera and Get Great Portrait: DPS
- Overcoming Depth of Field Problems in Portraits: DPS
- Experiment with Different Framings with Portraits: DPS
- Top 5 Friday Better Portraits: Open Origins
- Super Quick And Easy Tip For More Flattering Portraits: Photodoto.com
- Portrait Lighting Names: Professional Photography 101
- Portrait Lighting For Beginners, Portraits With One Light: Sublime Light
You might think that a whole month is a long time to shoot a portrait every day. I’d agree, on a different month. December, however, makes it quite easy to shoot more people. This is mainly because of the increased interaction we all face during the Christmas season; Christmas parties, family dinners, gathering a bit more even at church, all events and activities that get me out and interacting with people more.
Another element to this Challenge is to try and shoot people in their daily life. A staged portrait in a studio has its place, but I’m not looking for that refinement. Catching people in their place of work, or in a place or state that is very typical for them is what I’m looking to capture. Below are several examples of what I’m striving to achieve.
I think I’ll actually schedule some of the shoots. I see no reason why I can’t plan ahead to stay on top of this undertaking.
So, do you think you have what it takes to accept an challenge like this? Are you satisfied with your own portraiture? Do you need or want to grow in your own ability to be more creative and get great light when shooting portraits?
Then join me as I shoot a portrait-a-day!
When tagging your images on Flickr and/or Zooomr, use “DecemberChallenge” so that we can track our progress. Additionally, if you want to vary this a bit for yourself, you could choose to shoot a stranger each day. That’s not my focus, but you may do that if you wish.
Below are a few really good portraits…
Oh yeah, Digg it!