Party Portraits

A Friendly Experiment

Connie at the tail end of a barbeque

Everyday I’m looking to push my photography, to learn new things, to challenge myself to look more carefully at the world around me, and to see the landscapes and people I know and love with new eyes.

The main point of the portrait, of course, is the same as every portrait; to capture the person, to fully see them and allow others to see them for who they are. The secondary point is to thank those people for being a part of my world. At a party, or a BBQ, or a potluck, or a picnic, the people we are with create a community. As individuals we come together to create a temporary whole. I want to thank them for creating that with me and for sharing their individuality with me for a short time.

Ryan thinks for a moment.

It also provides me with a chance to improve my photography. The portraits tend to be low key, candid, and unintrusive. They push me to both be present in the moment and to be an observer of it. They make me think about timing, lighting, and my personal interactions with a subject in a way that landscape or adventure photography doesn’t. The stakes are low. At the end of the day these are my friends that are in on the experiment, so I can play with flashes, with angles, with direction. In the end, if makes for a way for me to push my photography into new areas. As with most of what I do, it’s a chance to play.

Jeff and Long