Something I noticed recently made me stop and think for a moment, since, if true, it means that the modern era of photography is an especially noteworthy time: With very few exceptions, there are no scenes or subjects that are impossible to capture with today’s technology. Nearly everything you come across, from nighttime landscapes to microscopic insects, can be photographed with high levels of precision and image quality, so long as you know what you’re doing (and you pack along the right equipment). That’s a powerful fact — so, how can you make the most of it?
Life is an ever-changing adventure. We are each faced with our own unique set of opportunities and challenges. Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate our journey through the day-to-day turmoil we often face. Competing priorities. Unforeseen events and twists of fate. Moments of adulation. Periods of self-doubt. They can all be potentially found on the life roads on which we travel. Regardless of the paths, all roads do eventually end.
Valerie Jardin is not only an accomplished street photographer, but also a podcaster, teacher, speaker and writer. Originally from France, Valerie currently lives in the United States. Valerie’s international workshops and speaking engagements often sell out over a year in advance. This is why I feel so lucky to have been able to attend one of her workshops this August in Vancouver, Canada.
I have been a photographer for over 20 years and have worked on several projects here in Brazil. My work is quite diverse, but I love shooting portraits, particularly environmental portraits. I started to like this site back when it was Mansurovs and it helped me a lot in finding out about the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR lens, which I use a lot today, despite being a fan of prime lenses.
I am amazed, honored and humbled to have such amazing readers as you. After I wrote my announcement, so many of our dear readers have provided amazing feedback through comments on the site, through Facebook and I cannot even talk about my mailbox that is overflowing with your beautiful and supportive letters. A big thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who took the time to read my letter. What an amazing community! You are the reason why we are here and your feedback is what inspires us at PL to continue educating and learning. Once again, thank you.
This long overdue announcement was something I had been unintentionally delaying for too long this year. I started this letter months ago on an airplane and I am now sitting again at an airport, waiting for my four hour flight to Denver, in hopes that I will be able to finally complete my disarray of thoughts in one piece. Without a doubt, the last 12 months have been rough, packed with a number of life-changing events that have had a huge impact on my personal and professional life. One event led to another and I found myself going back and forth, questioning my actions and intentions over and over again, until I finally made a decision: I decided to pursue my dream to become a full time photographer, writer and educator.
I am notorious for starting my blog posts like I would start a letter. So, I hope that is fine with you guys. I hope everyone is doing great this fine Wednesday! The second issue of our Photography News will cover some fresh photographers you may have not noticed before and I assure you, you will find their work interesting in the least. I will stay away from gear news, since you already come to Photography Life for that. But I will include some important topics impressively covered by photojournalist and photographers.
Last week I received an email from one of our readers, Tim Smith, with a link to a video called “Gratitude” from Louie Schwartzberg. It was so beautiful, that it brought tears to my eyes. We often get so busy with our daily routines that we tend to forget how great life is and how unique each day is for us to enjoy. This unique beauty is one of the main reasons why I got so hooked on photography – and I am sure your story is similar…
As a photojournalist for 25 years and shooting for much longer, I may have a different or expanded definition of what a portrait is, and what it takes to produce them. There are genres of portraiture, of course, such as: editorial, corporate, commercial/retail, documentary or candid, and illustrative portraits. With some you exercise almost no control (e.g., William Albert Allard), and with others almost total control (e.g., Annie Leibovitz). There is no right or wrong answer … the photographer chooses their style! There are many photographers whose portraits I love, and not all of them are pure portrait photographers. Allard is a documentary photographer, but his found portraits are wonderful. Annie L. imposes her will on her subjects, but the results are fascinating and something I’d love to be able to do. If I were to pick my top 3 pure portraitists, it might be Arnold Newman, Gregory Heisler, and Annie L, in no special order. I went back and read my Arnold Newman’s “One Mind’s Eye” the other day, and was struck by how many of his images don’t use “perfect” light by today’s standards, but so many are amazing. This one, of Igor Stravinsky, is still one of the most brilliant photo portraits ever taken, I think. It’s interesting to know that Greg Heisler was one of Newman’s last assistants.