In February of this year, 2017, I set a little goal for myself to shoot more portraits. Friends, bands, strangers, whoever. I'd been looking hard at Irving Penn (some of his work had been up at Lesley College, in Somerville, Mass), Richard Avedon, and Diane Arbus.
Penn and Avedon's highly considered, slow, meticulously crafted portraits have always resonated with me. The attention to light, pose, and care in how the subject allowed themselves to be portrayed is incredible. Equally incredible though is Diane Arbus' character studies of folks from far outside the norm of society. Her photos have immediacy and drive, like she couldn't be bothered to deal with intricate studio fussiness, so she threw a flash on her camera and went out searching for interesting faces.
My goal was to just focus on making portraits, in either approach, and figure out the best way to shoot either with as small a set up as possible. This ranged from finding white walls to serve as blown out backgrounds, taping white paper up in open shadow, to shooting outside of clubs with a small light kit.
It's been a fun year, with some pauses for travel and commisions during the summer. But after this past weekend, where I taped up some paper outside of the America's Hardcore Fest matinee show, I think it's time to collect everything for a look and to serve as a jumping off point for more work next year.
For technical freaks, these were shot on the following: Hasselblad 503cx, Mamiya C330, and a Toyo-View 4x5, all on HP5 and all souped in Xtol.