I think that it makes complete sense that an editorial piece, whether online, in a newspaper or other media, comes with images of the subject of the piece.
Thinking of magazines such as Life, National Geographic and others, it seems natural to have a portrait alongside the text.
How one goes about gathering those images differs from one photographer to the next.
I'm not talking about the trash mags at the checkout line.
Those are basically sensationalism in my opinion and not really environmental portraits.
This image of John, who kindly took part in my motorcycle portrait project volunteered his time so I could make a few portraits of him in his shop. Each bike is a classic and lovingly and intelligently restored and maintained by him personally. Having already made images of 3 of his bikes, I knew it was a natural progression to shoot images of him.
Doing so gives the viewer a more in-depth look at his environment and helps to give a more complete understanding of his story.
I learned about John in the process, just through casual conversation and being interested. This is my approach to creating successful environmental images. I'm curious.
His interest in bikes lead to my interest in making cool images. I could go even further with this project and shoot some detailed table-top images of his tools, bike parts, dirty rags and all that sort of thing. It's all part of being in a creative zone which is never-ending. One image leads to another. It's a natural progression.
From here, I simply allow the energy from this shoot and the conversations with John to lead my next move. In fact, having met John, I have connected with another classic-bike fanatic whom I will be make a portrait of in the spring. Bill, labels himself as a Triumph restoration expert. He is a well of knowledge about these machines. His conversation reveals how connected he is to the brand. Any question regarding this part or that function etc. will undoubtedly produce a spirited response and perhaps even a story from his younger days as he ventured to this far-off place or that. Argentina springs to mind. (it's a long story)
Bill Edgar is a lover of old bikes that have character. I met him at a classic vehicle round-up in Lang over the summer, and after that I met him again in Lindsay at a British car/bike gathering. He loves talking bikes. Especially his 1947 Indian Chief in orange. I was scheduled to photograph his bike at the outset of this project, but low and behold on the very morning of the shoot, his bike would not start. Now we have re-scheduled the shoot for the new year, hopefully at the same location I had planned. It's because of Bill that I met John and because of John that I met Bill.
It's these connections that can make a tiny project blossom into something quite substantial and impressive. Next year I will probably post images of the project and I'm quite sure I will have more short stories to convey as well.
Photo-Artist working a personal vision.
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