Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Looking Back – Portraits of Women

by Blake Robinson

October 5th, 2019    0 Comments     Add Comment
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In this blog post, I’m looking back at some of my favorite portraits of women – of all ages. Most photographers will tell you that when they look at older work, they can find many things they’d do differently if the opportunity arose to take the same photograph again. And so it is with me. Hopefully, as our experience and skills grow, we get better at this craft, and so we easily find fault with the older pictures.

I chose these seven portraits because – for me – they still hold up under my usually harsh self-critical eye. In each of these pictures, something serendipitous happened to make the photograph “work.” These are portraits I’m still proud of.

The first image above is a corporate headshot for Michele, a principal in a marketing firm. Michele is a true professional and very good at what she does. But she is also personable, approachable and a joy to spend time with. These were the qualities I was aiming for in the pose and the facial expression.

The portrait above is of a 16-year old model I worked with in Sante Fe. She was a confident, serious young woman with a penetrating gaze. You will note in both the first two pictures I show part of the subject’s hands. Hands can be tricky but if used properly can be very expressive.

This is my wife, Marjorie, taken at Lincoln Center in NYC, just before we went into a performance at the Metropolitan Opera. The picture was taken quickly with an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera. I posed her in front of the ballet poster for many reasons – the romantic feel, the blue matching the blue of Marjorie’s outfit, and because ballet is another love of hers. I like her expression of joyful anticipation for the performance. This is a favorite image of Marjorie’s and of many who know her because it captures something of who she is.

Wilhelmina in this picture is a senior in high school and an experienced ballet dancer. Perhaps some would argue this is not strictly a portrait – a matter of opinion. I was going for a dream-like quality. One wonders – if she was actually dreaming – what the dream looked like!

This adorable 2-year old, Elora, was going through her “terrible” stage during most of our shoot. But she is a joyful and adventurous and playful young lady, and when she showed me those qualities, I was lucky enough to grab them.

Martha, age 8, and Margot, age 10, are full of fun and exuberance. This picture shows a lot about the relationship of these sisters – little sister looking up to big sister, big sister taking care of her but also looking straight ahead- literally and figuratively. This image was the family Christmas card.

The last portrait below is of my friend, Christina, a professional singer and voice coach. We shot together several times and I made a video of some of those images, with Christina singing a classic Buddy Holly song in the background. You can view the video here.

In all of these portraits, I’m trying to capture something of the subject’s personality. I’d love to know what you think and answer any questions you might have. Now, I’m ready to take my next portrait!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the other communities of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

 “Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Shannon by the Window

by Blake Robinson

June 8th, 2019    0 Comments     Add Comment
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Last week, I attended the Photoshop World conference in Orlando. My new friend, Shannon, was also a participant and we did a photo shoot together. Shannon is a communications specialist at a college in Kentucky.

My goals were to shoot some images with window light and also to work with narrow depth of field, with some backgrounds fading away in the distance, as shown in our first photograph, above.

In the second image, I was working with Shannon’s reflection in the window, while also getting a bit of the background fade on the right edge of the picture. But Shannon’s face remains the primary focus.

While the other pictures in this post show Shannon with a serious/contemplative pose, she has a lovely and infectious smile and I wanted to be sure to include one of those photographs as well.


In this picture, I was using the hallway as a framing device for the portrait.

As always, I would appreciate any questions or comments about my work.

Many thanks to Shannon for a fun and successful shoot!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the other communities of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

 “Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Looking at People Looking at Art

by Blake Robinson

December 7th, 2018    2 Comments     Add Comment
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It’s great fun to watch – and photograph – people interacting with art. One of my favorite places to do this is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. We were there last week. 

My rules are as follows: 1) Don’t let the subjects know you are photographing them,  2) try to just get the person or persons in the frame (with the art) without any extra people, and 3) imagine what the person is thinking about the art. 

This young man above was studying the Marc Chagall painting intently – and probably thinking to himself- Huh???

With this couple looking at one of my favorite Henri Rousseau paintings, I imagine the man is trying to explain the meaning of the piece to his girlfriend, but she has a bit of a skeptical look on her face – like – Do you really know what you are talking about?

This woman spent a lot of time trying to figure out this Rene Magritte painting. Here she is nose-to-nose with the hooded figure. Notice how close she is to the work – I expected a guard to come over and yell at her to back away. I’m hoping her close proximity gave her some clarity about the painting’s meaning!

The boy below was hamming it up for his friend, who was taking an iPhone picture of him off to my right.  The boy’s shirt is about the same color as the painting. And, by covering his face, he was perhaps trying to present a blank picture – much as he perceived the painting behind him. 

Can you see how much fun this is for me?

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the other communities of Beaufort County, South Carolina.
“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”