I was delighted to be asked once again this year to do the principal photography for Smiley Pete Publishing's Notable Neighbors
series, which runs concurrently in the Chevy Chaser
and the Southsider
The assignment was expected to be challenging — and it was
. It was also a great exercise in the things that I love: photography, socializing, problem-solving, and creative thinking
, plus a healthy dose of good fortune
Along the way, I became mildly obsessed with the venerable art of photographic portraiture and took some time at the library
perusing some of the masters
During the project, I felt grateful to get to apply lighting lessons that I learned from National Georgraphic veteran shooter Karen Kasmauski
at the Maine Media Workshops
last summer, as well as some of the tough love
that came to me from Jonathan Newton
of the Washington Post at Mountain Workshop 2007
During the shooting (over the course of a week and a half) I was struck by a few things:
The third insight is one of those that is both enlivening and discouraging.
- That there are some remarkable people living in Lexington.
- That I've learned a great deal since shooting last year's portraits.
- That I know little of the craft that defines exceptional portrait photography.
Ultimately, though, it's a good thing: to see distant horizons
in a discipline under which you would like to improve
I'm reminded, then, of a lecture I heard from a legendary photographer (though I now forget who) saying: "Every assignment I go on, I just wait to see what I'll screw up that I've never screwed up before… and will probably never screw up again after that!
So the final published results — in their online form — are here
. But I also set up a Flickr set
with all the final shots and some alternates, if you're curious or would like to comment on any of the pix.