Photographing speakers and men of faith in action is a challenge for the portraitist. Conviction drives motion. Instead of the controlled shooting and lighting conditions of a studio, subjects in action on stage are rarely still, they move in and out of the light. These circumstances are not unlike those of a photo journalist seeking to capture a human face for the news.
The upside of shooting ‘live’ is that the subject of the photograph is deep into his/her thoughts, and the face is now fully emotional. Raw. Uncensored.
As a photographer I believe that my photos should procure viewers a fleeting instant of positiveness. I prefer not to shoot desperation and ruin. This is in part why I love to photograph men of faith. Their message mostly tend to stir up positive emotions in others, and their faces usually reflect this mindset. And the stern face of a preacher who is telling you to fear God gives a viewer an occasion to think.
Speakers are often animated, with gestures contributing to telling the story. Their face emphasizes, insists, agrees, reproves, looks puzzled, frazzled, … All these expressions are felt in the moment, and that’s what makes the job of the live portraitist so interesting.
October 18, 2016