Pressed for time this week, I decided to get a jump on this project on Monday. I set up a mock studio in my apartment and invited my subjects (friends) to come down and show off their million dollar smiles and personalities. At first they were hesitant in front of my intruding camera lens, but eventually they opened up.

I kept things simple with a plain white background—a fluffy white blanket—and a black and white filter in post-production. Due to a lack of professional-quality lighting and experience, I experimented with a lot of different functions on the camera. Out of all the tinkering around I did, I think the flash bailed me out the most. My first 50 or so photos sans flash were dull and left everyone’s face resembling oatmeal.

In this photo, I think I captured the essence of my roommate Murph perfectly. Plain and simple, the kid is a character. This shot came at a point when he was caught off guard, but in this impromptu moment, you can peer into his personality. The raised eyebrow, dumb smirk, flowing locks, and tipped-back cap all play a distinct role in his being. It’s tough to take this kid serious and it is tough to look at this picture with a straight face, at least for me.

I liked the simplicity of this assignment, but I truly wish I had more time to prepare for it and explore other options. My suggestion for doing a portrait set on librarians would be really interesting to execute and would be a chance to break the mold of the common interpretation of the librarian. Unfortunately, due to a pressure-packed work and school load, I will be unable to follow-up on that. So, if you’re reading this and struggling to find a focus, feel free to scoop it up and use it!


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