Neil Earnshaw’s work from Portrait Portfolio course

I see people that I want to photograph all the time, but I hate asking them if I can take their picture, so I walk on by and by the time I’ve talked myself into approaching them, they’re gone. This fear of intruding on someone else’s space in such an intimate way is the reason that I took the Portrait Portfolio course; I knew I had a weak spot and figured that I’d have to go out and shoot people if I was doing it.

All these shots, except for the last one, were taken in one day in Chicago. As usual, I spent several days of shooting skyscrapers and other non-people shots. All the while, I was spotting people that I wanted to shoot… and not shooting them. Finally, I decided that today was going to be a people day. I wandered around looking at the people. Sometimes I’d talk to them for a while before asking if I could take their picture; other times I’d just stop them and ask outright. Not one single person said no – the people of the American Mid-West are very friendly and open. Most of the stop-and-ask people wanted to know why I wanted their picture, and what I was going to do with it. The others were already at ease by the time I asked them. If they asked for a copy then I got their address and sent them one, but they usually didn’t.

Style-wise, I like to shoot head-and-shoulders portraits offset in a landscape frame. I think it gives the subject a bit of space. This works best if the background isn’t too intrusive. Some of the shots have been cropped to squares because there was just too much extraneous detail to the side.
Eldra

La Dawn

Morris

Smile

Smoke Break

Yolanda

December

February

Great pictures thanks Neil

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~ by Nigel on May 24, 2007.

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