As a photographer, one of the things, up until now, I had not done was capturing more private life photos. I recently went on a trip to visit my great grandfather and wanted to take some images that would give a glimpse into his daily life as he draws closer to 100 years old. I purposely did not pose him for several of the photos, as I wanted to capture his natural mannerisms and personality. At this point in his life he is very limited as to what he can do and has lost most of his hearing but utilizes different aids and the help of his family to get by, and I also wanted to emulate this in the images as well. In one image he is seen using a device that tells him the time and date, along with the weather that day. Taking photos that showcased this was my way of appreciating the little things in his life that made it so.
It was also very important to me to have a group portrait of him with all of his surviving daughters, my grandmother and her three sisters. When capturing this photo in particular, I was very intentional with how I set it up. I wanted to have the two oldest sisters sitting on either side, with the two youngest standing behind them to create an interesting shape. I also made sure to have my great grandfather’s head in the general center of the photo to put emphasis on him as well as his connection to his daughters. I also decided to shoot upwards from a slightly lower angle, to make him appear larger and highlight that feeling of wisdom and leadership. In a time where he can no longer do many of the things he used to, and for a father, grandfather, and great grandfather that was always taking care of everyone and very active, I thought this was important to highlight.
“I also decided to shoot upwards from a slightly lower angle, to make him appear larger and highlight that feeling of wisdom and leadership.”
When editing these photos, I chose to keep them rather close to the originals for the indoor portraits, as the lighting was great, and the scene seemed very natural and in character for my great grandfather. For the outdoor portraits, I did put more emphasis on the subjects and blurred the background and added a vignette. This helped separate them from the background and put emphasis where necessary. Emphasis on a subject is very important in portraiture, and I am very happy with how the photos came out.
Below all of these photos, I also included some of the surrounding area that I visited, including some of my favorite places down south. For these images I did some more editing and color correcting than the portraits, and got more creative in terms of color. I wanted to highlight the contrast between the greens and blues of the landscape, but also bring out some of the red that is seen in some of the plants in certain photos. I think these may be some of my favorite landscapes yet that I’ve taken, though I am partial due to the fact they are taken in such a special place to me and to my family. Hoping to visit again soon and use the skills I’ll learn this semester as well.