Tuesday Viewsday III

Well, I spoke too soon – the snow and the blow have caught up with central Illinois and we are in the thick of it! With the hustle and bustle of moving into my new house (including the DIY remodeling), I’ve been missing out on editing and shooting. Then again, winter has always been a slow season for me when it comes to portraits; there aren’t many who want to brave the cold.

Yesterday, however, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with one of my former models, Lindsey, and shoot some maternity shots.

What? Maternity? In the snow? You betcha!

It was a lot of fun. We shot some great studio material and then headed outside for just a few minutes. The pristine white snow lying around my new backyard was perfect for some high key shots. Just goes to show you – a great photo can be made anywhere!

Anyway, on with the photos…

Unspoken Hero

Unspoken Hero

Unspoken Hero

Last week, I discussed a photo I had shot for a photo essay during college. I wanted to keep that ball rolling so this week’s image comes from a different photo essay assignment from the same college class. The assignment was to photograph an event around campus and I chose to shoot the Red Cross Blood Drive in the [former] Bradley Fieldhouse.

I have experience working in a variety of not-for-profit organizations and companies so capturing an event that spoke to the heart of that was what I was going for. This image, “Unspoken Hero,” was one of the first photographs I took of a stranger. I approached one of the nurses who was drawing blood from a college buddy of mine and asked if I could snap a few images for my project. After some begging and pleading (this nurse wasn’t very friendly, from what I remember), she said I could snap a few images as long as her face was not in them.

Our professor had wanted a “human” element in each assignment so I felt thwarted by this request to not include a face because, to be honest, the face, especially the eyes, are where the “human” qualities of a person really come together. I knew I had to stay on my toes and think of something so I crouched down, zoomed in, and snapped a few quick shots of the nurse’s hands as she worked to find a vein.

Even without her face showing, I think there is real emotion to this image and I captured a moment in time that almost everyone who has given blood can recognize. I also discovered the power of bokeh that day, but I didn’t really know how it happened. You can see the focus point working well here to drive your eyes straight to the center of the image where the action, her hand on his arm, are coming together. The elements in the background, while out of focus, add a nice sense of environment to the entire piece.

So what are your thoughts? Do you like this image? Why or why not?

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