One of the things I'm thankful for in my photography career is that I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best photographers in the world. While I was at Canon, I had the opportunity to work with and learn portrait and lighting techniques from photographers such as Bruce Dorn and Bob Davis. In more recent years, I had the opportunity to work with Sam Abell, former staff photographer at National Geographic. These opportunities have been invaluable in helping me become a more well-rounded photographer, able to pull off more than just a pretty landscape. While landscape photography is still my primary creative outlet, I do love creating portraits, whether in a formal session, or under more informal circumstances.
Maine Portraits: Getting Outside of My Box
This week, I had the opportunity to work with renowned photographer Christopher Michel, currently the inaugural artist-in-residence at the National Academies of Science. Chris was leading the workshop, "A Portrait of Maine", produced by Santa Fe Workshops. Chris's work is notable for his exceptional compositions, as well as his use of dramatic light with deep shadows. Thankfully, he's very willing to share his knowledge and pass it along to others, and I was thrilled to be asked to assist on the workshop.
One of the days of the workshop, we ventured out to one of the many harbors in the area to photograph lobstermen at work. We had called and arranged it with one of the lobster companies beforehand, so we didn't just surprise them. What was surprising was how accommodating they were, patiently allowing us to photograph them, ask about the lobstering life, just share some laughs. While wandering around the wharf I was able to make some of the photos you see here, hopefully capturing the personality as well as the toll that life on the water has taken.
While working with the lobstermen, I tried to recall every lesson I'd ever learned regarding portrait work. Finding good light, posing my subject, and composing the image to tell a story. I'm pretty happy with the images I made and find myself inspired to try my hand at more portraiture when the opportunity arises.
The day after we photographed lobstermen, the group photographed some models at a resort on the midcoast. This was a more formal setting, with people there expressly to get their photos taken. Some of the models had previous modeling experience, while others were first timers we asked to model to give us a mix of styles and looks.
Overall, this was an amazing experience that makes me thankful I am able to do what I do for a living. I am in my third year working for Santa Fe Workshops, and really enjoy meeting the people I meet and the photographers I get to work with, both the instructors, and those who attend the workshops to learn more.