Making things personal: Creative Faces

Illustrator Vivienne Flesher.
Illustrator Vivienne Flesher.

In order to keep the creative mojo working, I like to photograph personal projects. It allows me to photograph subjects that mean something to me or to try out new techniques.

This portrait of illustrator Vivienne Flesher was one of the many portraits I did over the years of the Western Art Director’s Club annual West Coast Show judges. The judges ranged from art directors, designers, illustrators, and photographers.

I decided to take a more personal approach to the portraits. I wanted to make a quieter, more introspective portrait of some very creative people.

Judging day is very hectic for everyone involved. WADC club volunteers arrive at the crack of dawn to set up. Judges are shuttled from room to room viewing printed pieces and projected images.

I was scheduled to photograph the judges at the start of the lunch break. I kept the lighting simple and dramatic (one gridded Dynalite head on the background and a small Plume 75 or 100 softbox on the subject. This allowed me to concentrate on shooting and not on f/stops and shutter speeds.

Since I only had 5-10 minutes per person, we arrived early, set up, tested, and had everything ready to go well before the first subject. Working quickly, I varied the distance, angles, and lenses (anything from a 16-35mm to a 200mm). The key is being prepared and ready.

If you’d like to see more portraits from this series, click here.

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