Portrait Practice

I believe in making images that make me uncomfortable. Sometimes it isn’t the situation or the location that makes that feeling rise up inside of me, but instead it is doing something that I’ve been taught is wrong. In 2018 one of the things I started to practice because of this approach was the wide angle vertical. On top of that I decided to create them all, not with a wide angle lens, but instead an 85mm lens using multiple frames to create the portrait.

I completely failed on my first try at it. The vertical part didn’t happen but the wide horizontal did.

Aaron Habel and Justin Evans in January of 2018. Commissioned by the Generation Why podcast for promotional use.

Aaron Habel and Justin Evans in January of 2018. Commissioned by the Generation Why podcast for promotional use.

My second attempt was much more in line with what I had set out to do. It is in this frame that I started to really see and feel the warping that approaching portraits like this can create. The instructors in my head told me to shy away from it but that visual element made the images feel right to me. They have this almost not real feel to them, as if we are pushing the reality of the situation just enough that the world bends.

Professor Felcia Londre photographed backstage at the KC Rep Spencer Theater. Created for UMKC.

Professor Felcia Londre photographed backstage at the KC Rep Spencer Theater. Created for UMKC.

I created about 26 of these portraits in 2018. Sometimes that is all I set out to create and other times I created them on the fly before a different type of session ended.

One of the great things about being the photographer for UMKC is the access to people constantly to create images of. Get bored at lunch? Go make art. It is one of the reasons that I can practice different approaches to my work and I am infinitely grateful for it.