After the last edits are completed on a photograph from a portrait session and the final art is ready for presentation one might wonder what was the artist's inspiration. It comes from many places. I find inspiration first with something I see. Maybe another artist's painting or sculpture. It could come from television or movies. Something just clicks and you know you have to investigate further how that look might have been achieved. And most importantly how to create my own original photographic art without copying another's. Its a fine line. All art whether captured through a camera or paints comes from inspiration. Social ethos inspire as well as our day to day experiences and dreams.
Translating that inspiration to a photograph and then transforming it into a work of art requires a deft hand and eye. For me, scanning through the files from a session I will very quickly know which one is the perfect photograph to be converted to a very personal work of art. It stands out to me and it tells me where it might want to go. Some images immediately scream composite while others may call for additional work in a painting program. Each has its own voice. Clients know they are to choose a handful of favorites but ultimately the ONE that just speaks to me will be their original work of art.
Lately, I had been quite inspired by Grant Wood's 'American Gothic' painting. An old classic. It was simple and perfectly portrayed the subjects within their environment. By the way that is called Environmental Portraiture. That is what I do, mixed with a little Street-Style photography. My policy with portraits is never to rush and to always let the client direct themselves. While that may sound daunting it really works. I see in the final photographs the progression from 'what do I do?' to beautiful, relaxed REAL LIFE representations. The natural awkwardness that sometimes is visible in the beginning and by the way is really beautiful, transforms to a fun flow of one perfect image after another. I tend to over deliver. If I like it you get it.
I am also quite inspired by several photographers such as Weegee, Annie Leibovitz, Peter-Joel Witkin, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus and Helmut Newton. Each very different in their photographic art. Weegee was the quintessential Street Photographer, who was famous for his crime scene images. Annie, who is still blowing out awesome work, for her environmental, documentary portraits. Peter-Joel Witkin is a fine art photographer who takes staged images to a whole new beautiful level. He makes death beautiful. Check him out at Etherton Gallery. Richard Avedon's portraits were simple, stripped down to black and white perfection. Diane Arbus found the odd in all of us and made it beautiful and sometimes a bit unsettling. Lastly, Helmut photographed women in such a way that juxtaposed S&M with high fashion. Visually stunning. Check out the links below to see more of these fine photographers' work. And give me a call if you are looking for something completely different and original. Whether you are looking just to gift yourself a fun time in front of my camera, maybe quirky family photos are your gig or your are getting married and don't want the same old snore-fest wedding portraits, these one-of-a-kind artistic portraits are for a lifetime. Give me a call 504-920-8703 and also take a few minutes and check out some of my portrait portfolios here on my website.