Smile and Say Cheese

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I’ve never really been one for posey posey pictures. I’m not sure how much they really capture of a person’s personality beyond a pretty smile or some other physical attribute that’s incredibly obvious or just an identity photo. So last monday, I went on a one day portraiture course lead by Owen Harvey, hosted by Ideastap.

I did my homework into who this guy was before the day. He’s a photographer. He shoots portraits, and works with both film and digital. I came across his projects and past work of portraits of sub cultures, such as Mods and Skinheads. It was interesting to hear him speak about these projects, the main thing that kept coming up was researching into the people, and generally being interested in the thing/ people your photographing. For me and others I guess, this keeps the work engaging not only for the viewer but you as the photographer.

image credit: Owen Harvey

image credit: Owen Harvey

There was a lot of technical babble about lighting set ups, camera settings yadda yadda and eventually he set us loose on the public around the area of the Ideastaps HQ to capture some street portraits. I found this the most useful part and was just a blast to do. I even set myself a personal task of retaining one fact about each of the people i photographed. We then had a quick crit which again was incredibly useful.

Seriously, prop to those who do this more often. It’s not nerve-racking just you have under 10 secs to explain yourself and to be accepted and then 30 secs if that to get a snap. Thanks again to Owen, and Ideastap.


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