postcardfromwales asked: Great pics Sam , youve inspired me to grab a mamiya 7 and use more film....you using portra for most of these ? you still in the uk ?
Thanks, glad you like them! Yeah the mam is a good tool and yes, I do shoot using Portra. I am currently in the UK, heading out to California in September for a few months to try and build some bridges!
Really appreciate the positive words, and definitely get shooting more film!
I’m currently in the process of writing a few thousand words on my approach and reviewing how my project has gone. Just been thinking about approaching people for portraits, and how that can be a hurdle for many photographers whether on assignment or simply travelling.
Food for thought anyways…
‘What I don’t want out of a portrait is a fleeting encounter. The act of taking someone’s portrait is classically and inherently taking from the subject, so I try to justify this by giving that person the time of day. Letting them know I am interested in them on a personal level - not just wanting to gain a material picture and then cycle off keenly licking my roll of 120 film and searching for my next victim. My method is fairly simple when it comes to approaching people for pictures, and I don’t think there’s really any other way to do it except for simply being clear, and honest about your intentions, ‘Hi, my name is Sam and I’m a (mainly portrait) photographer, I’m doing a project on INSERT PROJECT HERE and would love it if you have any time just to chat and let me take your portrait?’ This is my loose ‘chat up line’ if you will and I’d say works like 85% of the time. One thing is for sure… my preconceptions of people always blown out of the water. Who I thought would be happy for me to photograph them, and who wouldn’t. I often overthink things before I go up to talk to people, and that occasionally leads to me wimping out and cycling past an opportunity that may have lead to a killer picture. This does happen sometimes, and I always kick myself afterwards, on a few occasions I did have to literally tell myself to cycle back up the hill to go and say hi to someone, You definately have to be honest, and let them know what the images will be used for, and why you’re taking them, and for some reason I always think that they’ll think I’m a weirdo. But something I learnt was that people rarely are thinking what you think they are thinking!
Hope this is helpful if anyone decides they want to read this. I don’t normally write stuff!