If you’ve paid attention to my blog or my Twitter feed, you’re probably aware that I’ve been critical of the Instagram-type effects that appear to be all the rage these days. Mostly I suspect this is due to my advancing years and an increasing ability to no longer “keep up” with the trends of our younger population.
Partly, though, I legitimately believe that in a few years, perhaps less time than it will take our current high school seniors to graduate college, the heavy-filter, retro-style filters applied to portraits will grow out of fashion, and be recalled upon with all the love of the horn-rimmed glasses, heavy sideburns, leisure suits, and bell-bottom jeans so prevalent in my own high school yearbook. My hope is to create an image that will be cherished long after the current fashion and photography “trends” have become an embarrassing memory.
Nevertheless, I would also be failing in my responsibility as a photographer of young people if I did not at least pay homage to the unique characteristics that distinguish this generation from those that preceded it. So when I was asked to photograph these best friends, I saw the perfect opportunity create a portrait that this fascinating and endearing generation could own.
From a technical perspective, this was one of the most challenging portraits I’ve ever attempted. If you notice the settings, they are extreme, to say the least. I didn’t really want a 1.8 aperture, given the sky was clear and the sun was high. But anything less than wide meant that the scoreboard behind the girls was to sharp, and drew too much focus away. Yet it needed to be an important element of the shot, so I had to dial down until the scoreboard was readable but not in focus. Further, the sun was over my shoulder, absolutely the worst position to get a good portrait, but they did a great job minimizing the squinting, and I had a speedlite for fill off to the left (which also did a nice job bring out their hair).
I hope the result is a photograph they can cherish a long, long time.