Clients often hire me to make emotionally nuanced images. In one case this year, my team and I weren’t allowed to share the results but we loved the pictures so much we shot a similar project of our own: a portrait study gently juxtaposing strength and vulnerability. But this time we’d be working with hired talent rather than real people.
Here’s where directing — much like directing for motion, actually — comes into play. Creating a narrative and guiding the talent to that fine line between too much and too little. Talent are so often used to their energy level needing to be at a 10, so it can be hard for them to feel comfortable toning it down.
I love subtle but unmistakable emotion. And I never tire of the challenge of having no more context to rely on. Just a person, a camera, a backdrop and some lights.