Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two pix of Frank & Vincenzo

"Frank & Vincenzo," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Frank & Vincenzo are good friends of mine. I care about whether they like any picture I might take of them. For this one at a wonderful wedding we all attended, I snapped eight frames, one right after another. I was immediately drawn to the frame shown above. The problem is, I always seem to choose the 'off' picture, the quirky picture, the one just before or after my subject is ready, the one that -- if you're shooting for money -- you never even show the client (unless you know them very well & you're showing it as a joke).

"Frank & Vincenzo 2," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

Here's one most people would probably like better (it's nothing special; I'm using it to make a point). And I'm not saying Frank & Vincenzo would or wouldn't like it. They're creative people. Frank's a photographer (his Fading Ad blog is here). Will that first picture bother him? I doubt it (I wouldn't be blogging it if I did). But a lot of people would be embarrassed -- & they're not necessarily the ones you might predict. They wouldn't like it chosen & shown. They'd assume you understood that.

This is why I have so much trouble with portraits. It's why I prefer to photograph strangers. With strangers I can be confident of my choices because they're about me. They're not really about the subject.

See one possible solution on Flickr.


Chris Bonney said...

I like the "off" one, too. I think it's because the other one is the more expected view, almost boring by comparison, and the "off" image shows something you weren't expecting. The smiles aren't carefully arranged. One of the subjects is moving out of the frame.

Frank Jump said...

Did you have us sign a release for these? I think not! Plus- posting such unflattering shots. How dare you!

Hi Tim. Had a wonderful time at the wedding. All of us shutterbugs should get together with the newlyweds and show our pics as slides.

Give my best to those two gorgeous women in your life.


sylvia said...

That's exactly it! I've never been comfortable with portraits of people I know but if I can get away with photographing strangers in the street, I'm quite happy with the results. I have been wondering why it's not easier to take photographs of people I know well and you've just nailed it.

I get very embarrassed asking permission, though. In fact, recently I've found the way to deal with it is to tell the person I'm with, wow, that would make a great photo, but I'm scared of asking the guy if I can take it. Most of my friends then abuse me until it becomes the lesser of two evils to just go and ask. :)