I’ve been photographing portraits for many years. These are basic portraits – usually a 3 light setup with the person standing in front of a seamless background. It’s a straightforward exercise in practice but every once in awhile I get to be creative. Several years ago I was given the task of photographing a group of department chairmen and women. I made the suggestion that instead of taking another “typical” portrait of them, that I ask them what their hobbies/interests were and, if possible, to photograph them holding/dressed/somehow engaged with their hobby/interest. It was pretty exciting to be given the go-ahead for the project. I set up the lights and background in a slightly more stylized fashion. Then the folks arrived. There was baseball and tennis. A guy in a motorcycle jacket and a woman holding a statue. Someone with a keyboard (a musician) and another with a golf club (not unexpected). One gentleman brought in a model airplane. Now that took me back to my childhood. These chairmen and woman have had their portraits taken countless times over the years, but on this particular day you could see the smiles on their faces.
My only wish is that someone had shown up wearing a NASA spacesuit. That would’ve been amazing!