[one of my favorites of hers - Willie Nelson]
I went to see an Annie Liebowitz exhibit this past weekend. It's a mix of personal and professional photos, and it was rather amazing. Capturing someone's essence in a photo is a gift, and she really has that gift. In one of the descriptions on the wall next to a photo, she remarked that she needs people to be in their element, and not in some studio, which to me makes sense. It provides a context, and something to bring out the inside person. Not every photographer needs this, but I think I would too.
One great side exhibit was a room in which they had a digital camera and digital projectors. On two walls of the room two sets of images would rotate through (all portraits) - all of 'regular' people (people visiting the museum): some that were saved, and some that were captured there and then in the moment because they had a digital camera there so you could take a portrait of yourself. There were seats in the room so you could sit and view the images.
I had sooo much fun there, both watching and participating. Portraiture is wonderful in part because people are wonderfully complex. Faces are complex. Personalities are complex. It was a different experience to see myself up on a wall in a six foot by six foot photo. It was interesting to watch people decide if they would take a photo of themselves, and to see whether it would turn out serious or funny. Some kids loved it; others were too shy. One man walked into the room and I almost went up to him and 'forced' him to take a photo - such an interesting face (older, mixed heritage) accentuated by thick black rimmed glasses. But he walked on through without taking a photo of himself.
Would you take your photo and have it projected? Would you make a funny face or be serious? Or, do as I did and take about 10 covering every permutation and combination?