Contact Sheets: Analog Animal Portraiture
The role of arts and culture is to be an alternate voice for humanity, without the pressure of literal interpretation. And the role of the artist is to speak that voice. So when a beautiful couple commissions me I feel a great sense of responsability to serve as a mirror for their relationship. Most of the time my clients are unable to directly ask for that, but as we plan our collaboration through discussions at my San Francisco photography studio, I get a peek behind what truly makes them emotional about their animal companions. And also how that animal serves as an emotional anchor for their family. Here is a contact sheet from a wonderful San Francisco couple and their Spaniel. You can see that through these 12 exposures (one full roll of 120 film shot on my Hasselblad camera) my subjects are telling their story to me through expression and body language. I add to that light, exposure, composition, and empathy. And together we've collaborated on something beautiful and inspiring.
It takes a full roll of film to land upon that perfect moment. Actually, it typically takes many many many rolls of film. Many many many frames exposed before creating the winning image. I photograph through moments, observe quietly, and wait patiently to ensure I tell the most honest story I can. Here is my selection from this one roll:
The interaction between all three subjects here is wonderful and playful. The overlap of hands upon hands, framing of the identical legs, and slightly off-kilter dog positioning makes it a balance of balance and spontaneity that is typical with my style.
Which frame is YOUR favorite? Comment below.