Sometimes, the simplest approach is the way to go. I was assigned to photograph Mike Knezovich in his downtown condo last Saturday for a story about a Web site he created. By far, the type of photography I struggle most at is portraits. I’m just flat out not good at them. I like to chase news and sports. I like the events to unfold and try to find the best angle or most telling moment on the fly. Portraits require way more intellect and if you miss on a portrait, it is painfully apparent.
Mike and I grappled with the idea of the typical computer in the background shot and other props. All of that just seems way too contrived to me. So I opted for a good old reliable technique.
I regularly use my 70-200mm lens to make a simple, tight frame of my subject’s face. This eliminates any distracting background items and I think the eyes generally tell you a lot about a person anyway. I helped Mike move his kitchen table close to a window where some strong daylight was pouring in. This is one of four frames I shot. Out the door. Annie Leibovitz’s job is safe for sure, but at least I felt good walking away with something.