Photographing an artist that you hold in the highest respect….. This is no small challenge or easy portrait to create, but a fantastic opportunity and pleasure you look forward to. These styles of portraits challenge all the creative and photographic skills you have in your tool kit and push you to create some of your best work. And did I mention, makes your tummy feel a little bit woozy.
Terry is retired from his professional photography career as a commercial photographer. Over the many years he applied his craft I always looked up to his fantastic and high quality of his lighting. This was one of his trademarks he had created and nurtured over the many years he applied his craft. He was and still is highly respected in the field of photography. When I was just starting out many years ago it was suggested to look around and find those people that are doing the things you wish to someday accomplish. When you find these people study them and ask for their guidance with the qualities that you admire. We where both members of the Professional Photographers of Canada at the time and Terry loved teaching and passing on his wisdom and talent to other young photographers like me. Terry would never let me down when I would seek his guidance over the years as I started to create my own style and signature lighting that we each strive to define and mold.
One of the things that Terry and I have in common is the love of beautiful black and white photography. When we got together at the studio to discuss his portrait and for me to find out some of the details for the portrait, he had mentioned one of the portraits was for his mom as a Christmas gift, which makes this an even more extraordinary portrait. One of the things I have learned over the years is all mothers desire a portrait of their children. Often they will not come right out and says this to the children but they will desire it and hope that one day their wish will come true.
As we talked and I asked questions to get an idea of what the qualities and dynamics of this portrait would look like, I remember watching Terry use his hands to manipulate the many tools he used to create the lighting and composition of the photograph he was working on. I decided that I wanted to make his hands a significant part of his portrait, as well as use one of the hats you would often see Terry wearing. I wanted to use strong lighting ratios to emphasize his features and the qualities of this man. I wished to show the similar qualities of lighting that I had admired from Terry as I was on my journey to create my style and signature. One of the best gauges to judge weather you have created your own signature of lighting is to hear from a master of lighting that he loved his portrait and appreciated my skills for lighting and composition.
This was truly one of my better parts of Christmas this year and I am now glad I can share this with others, now that Terry’s mom has received her gift. I never want to give away someone’s Christmas gift before they receive it in person!
I hope you enjoy this portrait as much as I do.