SXSW ’17 Portraits: Shanice

Shanice, SXSW 2017 - Austin, Texas

Shanice, SXSW 2017 – Austin, Texas

I think Shanice wins the prize for the most radiant smile. I met and photographed her at the back of the second floor. She was acting as traffic cop, skillfully controlling the flow to the video portrait area and the restrooms. As you can tell from her t-shirt, this is another portrait taken at the Nat Geo Base Camp.

On a technological level, I think it’s amazing making some of these portraits at all. Certainly the grainy black and whites have a simulated film look, but consider that this was shot at ISO 4000 at f1.6. Perhaps not impossible for film, but very challenging indeed. It’s not very difficult with digital, especially with newer cameras.

But ultimately, who cares about the technology, which is there at the service of creating the photograph. I’m enjoying making these portraits because they seem to make character filled representations, in less than ideal conditions. It’s not about that pixel perfect shot, rather it’s about capturing the person, the mood and the story.

It’s ironic that for a photographer who started shooting lots of urban landscapes, that I’m posting all these portraits. But I suppose the gritty and imperfect nature of these, somewhat fits with the urban style. I’m not an expert in lighting and posing people as are traditional portrait practitioners. Just a guy capturing interesting folks on the street and writing the back stories mixed with photographic commentary.

Day six of the SXSW Portrait series.


Please support this blog by clicking on my Amazon Link before buying anything.

6 thoughts on “SXSW ’17 Portraits: Shanice

  1. I think your success with this series speaks to the interaction you’ve achieved with your subjects as well as technical proficiency. You can’t get a smile like that out of a person who’s not directly…and happily…engaged with you.

    1. Mike, thank you for your kind words. i guess you are right. After years of shooting on the street, my increased confidence has probably improved my rapport with my subjects. There’s always more to learn both on the photography and people interaction side, but I suppose that’s part of the never ending journey.

  2. I’ve known you long enough to observe the change in your photography habits over time and you definitely interact a lot more with people these days. It’s good to see and very admirable. Making portraits of strangers is way outside my comfort zone. It used to be outside of yours, so maybe there is hope for me someday. 🙂

    1. Mike, we started in similar places, shooting urban landscapes in HDR. We’ve both grown and changed over the years. You have an ability to use studio lighting that I don’t have.

      Overall, I think you are more serious into portraiture and learning the craft of lighting. I have to admit that there is a certain laziness to my approach. Just shooting casual portraits in natural light. But, yes, there is a different set of skills at play.

      There’s so much more to photography than just learning how to use a camera.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s