Who Wants to Be a Millionare… that is a portrait photographer
OK. I’m not a millionaire, but I became to be a portrait photographer, although I always found portrait photography quite dull and very predictable. I mean you have really narrow boundaries in which you can move that portrait is flattering to a person being portraited and still somewhat satisfying for yourself. I’m best in photojournalism, but ever since I’m working on portraits for Mladina’s Stritpiz rubric, I became known as a portrait photographer. I received loads of work because of that work, like publication in La Repubblica, work for Corriera della Sera and at the moment I’m working on two international exhibitions, of course made out of exclusively portraits.
The picture above is a portrait of a cleaning lady from hospitable and it’s one from the series of fifteen portraits for the exhibition that will be open in Brussels and will travel across EU. The exhibition is about raising awareness of chemicals in our everyday and Ministry of Health is a producer of the show.
What I want to say is that portrait is a fundament of professional photography. Recently I realized that 90% of my work are portraits. I mean even when I work on a reportage is basically made out of portraits. I do corporate portraits, portraits from press conferences, reportage portraits, interview portraits, portraits of my family, etc… When I was at college our mentor said every portfolio has to have some portrait photography and although people would love your arty stuff on the end they will hire you to make a portrait in your arty manner.
Portrait photography sells and my key to success is that somehow I manage to comply with clients wishes and at the same time I deliver work that is satisfying for me as well. The authors satisfaction is embedded in the picture with capital letters and clients satisfaction is embedded with your valet.
I surfed around for some relevant articles about portrait photography. I want to confirm that portrait photography demands a psychological agileness to bent circumstances in your favor. Like today I used a trick from my iron repertoire. I had to do a corporate portrait of a person that very loudly protested and made a whole show about how she (it’s always she) hate to be photographed. I accepted the game and equally loudly I start explaining that I’m so relieved to hear that, because I make best portraits of people who hate being portraited. We start laughing and I continued that I make horrible pictures of people who love being photographed and that I can tell on first glance that I’ll make a great portrait of her, but she have to promise she will continue with her resentment to photography otherwise I’ll be in trouble on our next photo session.
PS: I just got an idea to ask you which portrait photographers or portrait photography projects do you like. I have a list that I’ll publish it as a comment. Cheers!