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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nonna Bella

So, I thought I'd mix things up a bit and post one of my portrait shots today. I believe this is the first time I'm posting a portrait on my blog. i figured you guys may be sick of my nature/landscape shots, and i know you're for sure sick of my NYC shots. I don't create many black and white images, except if they are portraits. Personally, I like monochrome portraits better than color portraits because i like the 'drama' that the monochrome adds, especially in location portraits. I only shoot location portraits. I'm not a fan of studio portraits. The whole set up of studio work is so stiff and artificial. I'm drawn to photography because it's a way to freeze a moment in time and keep that moment (on a digital canvas) forever. Therefore, I'm really only interested in freezing genuine moments, not premeditated moments in a studio that required an hour of set-up work prior to shooting. I don't mean to sound critical of studio shots. In fact, it's a necessary genre of photography. It's just not my cup of tea...perhaps because I'm not very good at it. :) Oh well. At least i can admit my shortcomings, right? Anyways, I simply prefer to be in the moment with the folks that I'm photographing, and in the natural environment that is cultivating the moment that I'm trying to capture. This style of portrait work is called "location portraiture."

The above portrait is of a grandmother and her great-granddaughter who are of Italian descent. I call this image 'Nonna Bella', which means 'beautiful grandmother' in Italian. This image is part of a series that i shot of this family. I suppose you need to understand the dynamics of this family in order to appreciate the photograph...The woman in this picture (grandmother) is the matriarch of her family, which is common in the Italian culture. She raised eight children...has many many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and has worked very hard throughout her life. Now, in her 90's, she is tired. Somewhat hardened by life's trials and tribulations, she has always maintained a tough and strong exterior...perhaps in order to always assure those around her that they need not worry because she could handle anything that came her way. Despite her hard exterior, she could never resist smiling when her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are around her. That is what i wanted to capture. It's a lot to capture in one photograph, but that's the great challenge of a photographer.

1 comment:

  1. I love this photo! And, nice processing as well. The softness is wonderful. Thanks for visiting my blog recently. I look forward to checking back in on you every now and then. Regards, Lisa