What 6 Years Photographing The Same Person Taught Me | Photo

 
2014 - 2019

2014 - 2019

Ok well technically it’s photographing one person 3 times over 6 years but still. Amanda and I have been friends for a long time now and she’s always been hugely supportive of my work and especially so when I slipped into doing it full time. I’m incredibly thankful to have such a wickedly intelligent, kind, and hard working person in my life.

We’ve sat for sessions together 3 times in our friendship and each time has been a learning experience for me and one I’m so thankful to have had.

Here’s a look at each of them and how we’ve both changed over the years.

2014

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The only details I remember from this session were that we laughed a lot. It was a quick shoot in the basement of a place we both worked at at the time with one kinda shitty light and no real idea of what either of us were doing. This was around the time I really started to take the business of photography seriously and focusing on portrait work.

Technically this pic is a disaster: skin tones are too grey, her hair blends right in tot he background and no one looks really good hunched over like that.

However, out of the 3 sessions we’ve done this is probably the one I learned most from because it taught me how much more I had to go.

GEAR: NIKON D7000, 50mmf/1.4, crap constant lights from Amazon (I think ?). Edited in Photoshop

2016

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Okay we’ve moved out of the basement and into daylight!!! Already a step in the right direction. We shot a series in a green house in Toronto on a too humid day but these are some of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken. This session helped identify aspects about my photos that felt like “me” and my style. Colour blocking, natural elements, simple posing for subjects and close range portraits. I was also on the tail end of a serious overhaul of my post production techniques and it’s so great to see I didn’t make her a grey in this one!

GEAR: NIKON D750, 50mmf/1.4, natural light. Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

2019

Our most recent session was this past September and oh boy so many things have changed for both of us. We shot together last month during a day where I had planned to book sessions all day. Fortunately, I couldn’t book a couple and Amanda was keen to let me photograph her! New jobs, health changes, an engagement, 3 more years of experience and growth…and I think some of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken because of all that history.

Getting non-models to showcase a variety of expressions is something I’ve been spending a lot of time working on, in particular more pensive and sorrowful ones, and I think we really nailed that in a bunch of these. You can see more highlights in the journal entry here.

GEAR: NIKON D750, 70-200mmf/2.8, Natural Light. Edited in Lightroom.

 
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So big lessons learned from these sessions in particular:

  • Editing skin tones

  • Communicating with non-model clients

  • How important your approach is to clients and how important keeping things lighthearted is

  • Having a friend willing to do yoga poses for you makes for fantastic photos