Thursday, June 5, 2008

Avoiding the deer-in-the-headlights portrait

This is Cecil Zerba, of Zerba Cellars, one of the wine growers/vineyards profiled in my new Oregon: The Taste of Wine book.

First thing Cecil told me when I arrived was, "I hate to have my photograph taken." And worse, since his wife knew I was coming to interview and photograph Cecil, she laid out "nice" clothes for him that morning. Well, fortunately for me, Cecil disregarded his wife's wardrobe and put on his regular clothes, which was just fine by me. I like the editorial, more natural look.

When we started with the photography, with a little interaction he would flash an easy smile. But he stood there like a deer-in-the-headlights as seen in the photograph to the left. Nice smile, nice clothes, nice Rembrandt lighting on his face, but no cigar.

When I gave him something to do with his hands, continued our chatter, a much more relaxed photo resulted. To put a little sparkle in the eyes, I usually use a slight strobe, often on camera.

What do you think?

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