Neil Colton Photographer: A Photography Blog » Lifestyle, Travel & Fine Art Photography by Neil Colton

 

Washington DC Portrait Photography: Portrait of An Artist

Olga Bauer is a talented Washington, DC mixed media artist, specializing in abstract art. She is also a friend and a wonderful subject for portrait photography. Olga and I met a few years ago, when I photographed her family on a warm sunny day in May. She enjoyed that session so much that she asked to meet again in the fall and create a series of portraits of Olga, alone.

For this session, I chose a location along the Potomac River, just north and west of the city. Bordered by a broad walking trail cut through a deep dense forest, the location was perfect for the day. We met there on a bright cool morning in November. The fall colors were stunning and so was Olga, as we spent the next few hours searching for the best locations to create a series of portraits for Olga’s personal portfolio.

Olga is not only a very talented artist, but she is also a wonderful model, with qualities of elegance, poise, beauty and patience that are genuinely admired and appreciated by this photographer. Shooting in the studio allows control of every aspect of a portrait session. From the ambient temperature in the room to the color and quality of the light, the photographer is in complete charge. No guesswork there.

Move outdoors and all of that changes, dramatically.

Everything becomes a challenge. From choosing the best locations for light and background, to managing pink cheeks from the crisp fall air, creating portraits on location requires a patient, and adventurous, model. On this day, Olga brought the patience and adventurous spirit and I brought the camera. In the end, we had combined for some for some fine shots of Olga.

Many thanks to Olga for a being a good friend, a wonderful model and for helping me create this Portrait of An Artist. 

To see Olga’s artwork, please visit www.olgabauer.art

To see more of my work, visit my site here.

Washington DC Portrait Photography: Portrait Of An Artist

 

sharetweetpinemail

WASHINGTON DC PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY: PORTRAIT OF A CORRESPONDENT

Washington, DC Portrait Photography-Portrait of A Correspondent

 

Gunnar was frustrated.

An online article he had recently authored in the US was to be featured in Der Spiegel’s print edition.  His editor in Berlin needed updated professional portraits and headshots of Guunar and he needed them now!

As a Senior US Correspondent for Der Spiegel, Gunnar was accustomed to having his articles published, but with a text by-line, not a headshot or portrait.  It had been years since he had a professional portrait or headshot created. He was scrambling to find a photographer who could create the type of environmental portrait that matched the look he wanted. He searched the web, scouring dozens of Washington, DC portrait photographer’s sites. He found nothing that inspired him.

Then he found my site. He liked what he saw.

I was traveling when his email came in.  Gunnar wanted my earliest open date. According to him, my portraits were modern, classic and engaging. I’ll take that.

I looked ahead to the first opening on my schedule, called Gunnar and offered him the date. Their was noticeable relief in his voice. His job was done. Mine was just beginning.  Gunnar wanted an environmental portrait that had a ‘very natural’ look. No cliche shots of him sitting on the steps of the Capitol or straddling the center line of Constitution Avenue at 5AM. Nothing that would scream ‘foreign correspondent in Washington DC’.

I knew just the place.

We met at a small park in the Virginia countryside, about an hour west of downtown Washington. I don’t shoot there often, but when I do, I remember just why I like doing outdoor portrait sessions there. Tall mature trees create large areas of wonderful open shade, next to sun drenched fields bordered by wooden fences and low stone walls.  A working grist mill and restored historical buildings strung around the site offer great options for settings and backdrops. Add in a lily pond, walking paths and a restored tool shed, circa 1800, and the option list for portrait shots is a location photographer’s dream.

We meet early on a weekday morning. The park feels like it’s our own outdoor studio. We are virtually alone.

Gunnar is nervous. Very nervous.

I solve that quickly, getting right into the session. No time to let him worry about how he looks look or how to pose. I start shooting and talking.  It works. Within 5 minutes, Gunnar is comfortable with me, with himself and with the session. We are rolling. We move around the site, working the settings and creating a series of portraits and headshots of Gunnar.

A little over an hour later, we are done. Another dealine met, another satisfied client and one very happy editor.

 

 

 

 

 

sharetweetpinemail