Staged Portrait: Libby

Libby, Staged Portrait - Austin, Texas

Libby, Staged Portrait – Austin, Texas

I experimented with something new during January’s Drink and Click. You saw in the last six posts, I did my regular portraits in both color and black and white. Today, I’m featuring what I’m calling “Staged Portraits”. There is a genre of photography by the same name, however, examples seem to be all over the place. My definition is one where the person is directed to appear casually in an environment.

I’m trying this “staged” approach for a few reasons. First, it’s something new for me. I also wanted to create a photograph where the models where not in typical model poses. Finally, I wanted to suggest that there’s a story behind the photograph, instead of just a straight forward portrait.

Here, I directed Libby to act like she was ordering food, looking causally at the menu. The process was harder than I thought because I had to come up with an idea for the shoot. And, I needed to make sure Libby didn’t “ham it up” so she appears natural. I’m sure it’s something easy for actors and directors but it’s something that both Libby and I haven’t tried before.

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4 thoughts on “Staged Portrait: Libby

  1. Before reading the text my initial thought was that you were perhaps going for an Erwitt inspired image. This attention grabbing poster in the brightly lit background jumps out as the subject and the modestly dressed sophisticated looking woman ordering stands in juxtaposition.

    1. Honestly, I really didn’t even see the poster when I was shooting since I was concentrating on Libby and directing her. During post processing is when I saw it and made it more visible. I too thought it was an interesting juxtaposition, though I wasn’t thinking Elliot Erwitt.

      Mentioning Erwiit is interesting since some of his famous shots are actually staged photos, which I found out when I went to his exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center.

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