When I look at a portrait I want to see the subject’s vitality, it’s that visual pop that makes the picture come alive. It doesn’t have to hit you over the head, but it has to be something special, otherwise, you won’t look twice. I chase that vitality with every click of my shutter. It can be found in a myriad of ways and is present in any photograph that captures your eye. Just look at a portrait that you love, it doesn’t matter if it’s someone you know or a stranger. If you enjoy looking at it, and could return to it time after time, it most definitely has a life force.
There are so many ways this notion of vitality can be created in a photograph. But today, I’m interested in the feeling of motion and how it portrays life in a subject. Rocks don’t move, but people do! I’ve found that if a portrait can convey movement, however subtle, it can electrify an image with vitality. Without this elusive element, the subject may seems overly stiff and the portrait can feel too posed. Even in a beautiful, still and quiet portrait, movement in the body suggests impermanence, drawing you in, and conveying the passage of time. It isn’t necessarily easy to capture -- but when it’s there, it adds an ephemeral quality to a portrait and reminds us, life is just a series of moments we are all moving through.
I know from talking to so many parents and high school seniors, this final year of high school is a time of both reflection and excitement about the future. I feel lucky everyday that I get to create beautiful portraits now, that will be cherished long after families have moved beyond this milestone year!