© 2010 Marica

132 – Making emotional connections

Making a good portrait is about an emotional connection with the subject, the viewer, with yourself. – Fleur Wickes

I have a dream that one day I’ll be a great photographer of people. I want to be able to portray a person’s inner and outer beauty in a way that reflects their individual uniqueness. This is a lot harder to do than it sounds.

Finding people who are willing to be photographed can be a challenge all of its own. In my experience I have found that many adults are particularly reluctant subjects. As testament to this I have lots of photos of people’s backs and their hands as they put them in front of their faces to indicate “Don’t photograph me”.

I try to take photos of people as they go about doing what they normally do – at work, at play, while resting – and this at times can be difficult to do without being obvious and even obtrusive. I have never asked anyone to formally pose for me so I could photograph them and maybe if I had I would have had a different response.

Photographing people has a lot of responsibility associated with it as well. The person being photographed invariably wants to see themselves portrayed through their perspective and that may be different to your own. Then there are all the technical considerations of using my camera so that I can create that photo that makes us all stop and think.

I have come to realise that photographing people is so much more than just taking a photo. It is about seeing, feeling and connecting with another human being.

So this why I am in Wanganui this week – to learn more. I am attending a course at the UCOL Summer School of the Arts. This one week summer school offers many delights to tempt the creative soul and it is held every January. In this year’s offering one course grabbed my attention immediately: The New Portrait – Emotional Connection in the Digital Age being taught by a Wellington portrait photographer Fleur Wickes.

After checking out Fleur’s web site I knew I had be here. As soon as enrolments opened I sent in my application, paid my fees and booked my leave from work.

So today is the first day of what promises to be an exciting week. Our cameras are now on manual exposure, manual focus, no tripods are allowed to be used and we can only photograph using natural light. We have also been encouraged to take risks every day by letting go – we are to stop thinking and start feeling. In other words we need to “Just Do It” (the theme of our first photo shoot) and see what happens.

Today has already taken me out of my comfort zone and there are another six days to go! I somehow know I will be different by the end of this week long experience.

09. Every day learn something new.
26. Every day take action. Every small step counts.
33.Every day try something new.

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