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”