Have a seat, please.
The night before, I’d attended a talk by George Brainard. George is an Austin, TX portrait photographer who, among other things, spoke about seeking to connect with his subjects, develop trust, hopefully allowing them to reveal their true selves. When you look at the shots in his book it’s clear he succeeds with this strategy.
I’ve taken plenty of portraits over the years, but I was inspired to make as many TtV portraits as I could at the Lonestar Round Up on the Friday following that talk.
And, I tried something new with portraiture this time around. I’d been planning on experimenting with this particular notion for a while. When I make TtV portraits at car shows the shots mostly have an upward angle to them because the subject is standing and my TtV rig is at waist level, and if I get close enough, the resulting picture includes a pretty good view up my subject’s nostrils. Not always pretty!
Not long ago I purchased an inexpensive Coleman folding camp stool from Amazon. It’s very light, but sturdy, and it’s just the right height for folks to sit on while I get the shot.
An added bonus is I can sit on the thing to get low angle shots of any subject and not have the hassle of dealing with my achy knees. All that crazy skateboarding in the 70s trashed my hips, too. I’m really starting to feel it in my old age.
So each time I approached my subject, I had to pretty much explain what I was up to. The TtV. The angle of attack on their nose hairs. And where the chair comes in. To my surprise, only one person declined to have their portrait made.
Sure, it adds one more thing to carry, but I’m really happy with the results. I’m even thinking about getting that little stool’s legs pinstriped! 8^)
Oh, yeah… I also made a few hot rod shots while I was at it. Kinda’ hard not to!