Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Find better models"... interview with AARON FEAVER.

Aaron is highly talented portrait photographer from Los Angeles.

1Q) Can you please tell us the story behind this portrait? How you took it and why you choose to shoot this person?
I think this was the second time I'd shot this model, whom I'd found on Model Mayhem. She was the first "real" model I ever shot; real in the sense that she knew how to move around and pose to make a good photo, and she was very expressive. It was definitely a turning point for me, shooting her. I realized the difference between taking a photo of someone pretty and taking a photo of someone who really knows how to model.

2Q) What photography gear you used here and why? What is usually in your photo bag?
This was taken with a Polaroid SLR680SE, and some expired Polaroid film; probably Type 600 or 779. I had a ton of Polaroid film back then (this was about a year ago) and I remember taking tons of Polaroids during this shoot.
Nowadays I hardly ever use integral Polaroid film like this. The cameras I use most are a Pentax 67 for medium format work, a Canon AE-1 and Nikon FM2 for 35mm, and a Polaroid 250 with Fuji instant films for instant work.

3Q) What do you love most about shooting portraits?
I like that it's a challenge; that the photo doesn't immediately present itself, and that I have to work to get what I want most of the time. I also just like the life in photos of people.

4Q) Do you consider yourself mostly as a “portrait” photographer?
Yeah, I do. I don't have much interest in taking photos of anything else these days.

5Q) Do you work with available light or do you use additional lightning often?
Pretty much always available light. I don't have any studio lights or anything like that; my only additional lighting is an old flash from the 80s that I found at a flea market and that doesn't work half the time. I use it for night shoots. I like the way available light looks, and I like not having to think about additional lighting.

6Q) What/Who are your photography muses and influences?
Oh gosh…I mean I have a ton of influences; pretty much any fashion photographer out there. I started a blog just to keep track of them all.

7Q) Any tip for taking better portraits?
Find better models. People joke about modeling all the time, and don't take it seriously, but the difference between a pretty face and a good model is huge. It's just like acting; we've all see movies or plays with bad actors…there's more to it than just saying the lines and moving around the stage. Get good models and you'll get better portraits.

Thank You, Aaron!

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