Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Refresh, America

"Burton Perkins of Spanish Fork squints and sweats from the sun as he poses for a picture at the 2010 Utah County Fair at the Spanish Fork fairground, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010."

I wouldn't label myself as a portrait photographer.

It's not that I don't like taking them, I simply find posing my subjects for portraits odd most of the time. I find it much easier to hang out with them and capture a candidate moment.

Not only is it easier, but my pictures are then natural and more telling of their personality.

With that, we as photojournalist are often instructed by our editors to take portraits (deliberately posed pictures if you will) of people for human interest stories. We cannot get around it. And I always tend to over think them, even if they're are suppose to be straightforward.

During the fair the other week, as I walked around, Burton Perkins approached me and asked if I'd take his picture. Typically I'd brush someone like him off, telling them I don't pose photos and it's not my job to do so.

I get into this "work mode" where I believe everything I shoot will be seen by readers or my editor. While that's never the case, I don't setup situations and I don't want people for an instant think that's what we, as an entire profession, do.

Heck, I don't even like when someone unintentionally looks into my lens when I was taking a picture, and then I later see it when going through an edit.

And nine times out of ten I don't shoot the pictures people ask for. If they do, most of the time I snap it to make them stop asking or posing. Much in the case with young children who are taught from day one to "say cheese" for every dang photo.

So why I decided to take Perkins picture is beyond me. He asked. I was just getting to the fair. I was searching the scenes. Why not. I think it's something I might start playing around with if the time and place is fitting.

I told him it wouldn't be in the paper because of the posing situation, he didn't seem to mind, and I ended up liking the frame, so here it is.


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