On Sunday morning, my friend Yash came into the city to model for me in the studio. I had a pleasure of photographing him while we were still working at the same office, and I always thought he was photogenic. He has strong features, sophisticated, ‘metero’ kind of feel about him. He is a soft-spoken and kind gentleman. Girls, if you like to get to know him, maybe we can arrange something…
Enough of that! :p Let’s get right into it. We caught up over lunch last week to discuss some ideas about what we might like to do on this session. He started off from a call centre, demonstrated his leadership and commitment to move up to marketing team, where we worked together in some marketing related projects. We had coffees and chats, sometimes discussed office politics and shared our ideas. Things were not looking all so rosy when I eventually had to leave the team but he still remains standing. He speaks positively, as always, of the situation around him. I encourage him to fight on for his own goal, his way up.
He tells me he started training in a boxing gym recently. He is a fighter and he is an athlete.
I asked him to come in a suit. It looks good on him, nice material, soft and slightly shiny. Stylish. In the first shot here, I looked for his depth and intelligence by using light to bring out the straight line of his nose and the shape of his face. I had him hold his head straight and face directly towards camera, which worked well in showing his integrity. He was a little nervous under strong studio light and other photographers and models all looking on as we hit the bay to start shooting for the day. I left the camera on tripod and went to talk to him. I was looking to bring out that ambition I knew he had inside. Just like the model bride shoot I did ages ago at an exhibition, I worked on my model to visualise an idea, in this case, his goal in front of him, mid-air, and that is reflected in his strong eyes. He knows things can be tough, but through the darkness he aims straight at his goal. It is a real feeling, and I love shooting the real thing, not a staged drama.
Use of some soft side light is used to carefully control the feel of texture in his suit and cotton shirt. Soft reflection on the dark side of his face lightens up his ear, another sense pointed towards the same direction as his eyes, to his goal.
I’m up on the ladder, looking down on him aiming higher.
There wasn’t quite enough space to do what I wanted to do on this one just above, but if you can imaging having another metre on the right in this frame… Next time I’ll move all the equipments out of the way to generate all the space I need :p
One of my objectives was to try to capture the sense of the air, ‘koo-ki kan’ （空気感, literally ‘air feel’）as we call it in Japanese photography term, a sense of texture, smell, weight, moisture, particles, all that is in the air in the frame. Koo-ki kan is what brings the situation and location into the photograph. Rather than a clean photograph that is clearly shot in a controlled environment (studio), if you could smell the rain, hear car’s exhaust, sense the noise of the machinery or feel sweat from the moisture in the photo, it would look real and unstaged. In one of the photos here, I allowed a small amount of flare to invade into the frame, that makes the air feel a little dusty (although it was not really dusty at all). I’ll share more of these ideas with you when I have a good example next time.
Thank you Yash for kindly giving me permission to publish those images online.