Notes on portraits from Pursue Pictures -
Steve McCurry says a good portrait says something about the human condition. That each picture of a person is capturing their humanity and we connect to portraits because the viewer sees something in the picture he sees in himself. He’s talking about connectivity, or the emotional core behind the picture. And this isn’t specific to portraiture. Capturing any picture that has true longevity and power means not only capturing the image, but the emotional moment behind the image. In this case, the “human factor” behind the portrait. People are such interesting individuals, with specific tastes, styles, and personalities. A good portrait should of course be technically strong, but above that it should aim to connect the viewer with the core elements of the person being photographed. This is that unteachable element of photography that comes with talent and time. A great portrait communicates volumes, and should aim to expose something special, but universal, about its subject. As Minor White once said: “All photographs are self-portraits.” Food for thought.
I would have willingly spent all morning photographing this young man.
I watched him from afar handling the ball as though an extension of his body, much as my camera is for me. He worked intensely, a fine mist of perspiration covering his body on this nearly 100 degree day. And yet, even in deep concentration, he willingly stopped to pose for this portrait.
I waited all day to upload the picture to my computer, trying to let go of the image itself, trying to be satisfied with the memory of this moment.
Sometimes you get lucky. Today was one of those really lucky days. I love this portrait with all my heart.