Monday, May 5, 2008
Making A Connection
One well-traveled photographer shares her insights on approaching, composing and lighting memorable portraits, and on learning from the pros
PCPhoto: What's your approach to doing portraits of the people you encounter around the globe?
I think photography workshops for any photographer, regardless of their skill level, can only have a positive influence on their photography.
Spending time with people before photographing them gives me some time to absorb their environment and allows them to get comfortable with me while I look for interesting backgrounds. Then when it feels right, I always ask, sometimes with a gesture or in their language, "Can I take your picture?"
I've realized over the years that there's something intangible that happens beyond the camera and me when you capture a portrait. It's as if you can almost see the person's soul, and hopefully this is what moves the viewer when they see the photo—and perhaps, in the process, a universal connection occurs, and the viewers see something of themselves in the portrait. Hopefully, they're reminded, as I am every time that I travel and take photographs, that we're all cut from the same cloth in the end and that we have a responsibility to each other and the world. It's that responsibility that drives me now—to use my photography in a way that gives back to less fortunate communities and also supports the planet through sustainable travel and eco-friendly means.
PCPhoto: You often choose uncommon angles from which to capture your subjects. What can other photographers learn from your approach to composition?
Evers: I like using a unique perspective in my portraits to do something different from the usual. I like to experiment with different angles to keep my photographs interesting and also to remind me, and hopefully the viewer, that there are so many different ways to capture the same thing. It's amazing how the same subject shot with the same expression but from a different angle can reveal something so completely unique, even if it's lit exactly the same.
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