While on assignment to do portraits of a business student at the University of Northern Colorado who was part of a program focusing on the ethics of business practices I had an interesting situation: an subject that expressed two very different attitudes seamlessly. Wha? Ok here’s what I mean. Allison is a very nice young lady who is quite smart and has an almost effervescent energy. She laughs easily, is very comfortable with herself and when she is talking her face lights up into the kind of smile that makes you think that she is having the most wonderful time. An easily likeable and engaging person. And yet when she wasn’t talking she had this gentle and slightly fragile demeanor. It was as if a switch would flip: laughing bubbly chatty and the (click!) quiet and reserved but with an intensity in her eyes. It’s was very interesting how this worked. I shot her in her “normal” happy energy mode but occasionally she’d flip that switch turn into that smart but shy girl. True to my nature I shot both of the ladies as/when they presented themselves. I feel that if something interesting is in front of your lens it’s your responsibility to capture that moment. I mean, that’s my job right?
Side note: as always I bring a bunch of lighting equipment for any portrait assignment but in this case I didn’t use any of it. We had amazingly soft and warm light bouncing about the buildings on the CSU campus which was more interesting and flattering than just about anything that I would have come up with. I ended up using the graphics that the buildings offered as a backdrop for the portraits and really liked how when paired with my Nikon AF-G 50mm f/1.4 wide open her shirt and the dappling of the wall behind her blended nicely.
So here is my fave frame from our time together:
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