Portrait of a business man.

I was in New York to shoot on the floor of a specialty printing company when the art director for the project asked me to also include a portrait of the company's owner.  I went into his office which was filled with wonderful art. Paintings, lithographs, antique clocks and furniture. Photographs from the late 1800's and so much more.

He was at his desk when I walked in and you could tell that it was a spot in which he was very comfortable. The perfect spot for him.  The art director wanted to do the classic shot where the business man sits on the front edge of his desk, looking powerful so we did that first. It was awkward and unbalanced for all of us. When I asked him to sit back down and do some work while I reconfigured my one light it was as though a weight fell from his shoulders and mine.

I liked his direct and assured expression so that's what I set out to capture. It was one of those sessions when you get just what you need in twelve frames and then you pack and get the hell out.

This was shot on a Hasselblad camera with the classic 150mm f4 Planar lens using Tri-X 400 film.  Camera on a tripod and light provided my one Profoto 300 w/s second monolight bounced into an old, worn, yellowed umbrella. Printed on Seagull Portrait DW paper.

To my mind this could have been taken any time in the last 50 years.  And I like that.


  1. Key question: Did the client like it?

  2. Not being educated in photography or arts it may be the lack of knowlegde of contemporary tendencies in photography: But simply I like much more your work done in the analogue days.

    Like this business - man. Or your Italian stuff.

    Cause to me this looks like a real photograph, not like a frozen frame from a video-feature
    as most pictures created with present technology do.

  3. It's amazing just how often the KISS rule, applied with intelligence, can make the difference. Lighting, camera, pose... All simple, direct and assured (both the sitter and photographer). Of course, knowledge of materials, experience and the willingness to risk foregoing complexity (on so many levels), which can be so intoxicating to so many, to create a strong, muscular work cannot be understated. The photograph can, though, and in this case is.

  4. The right side of the painting seems to be coming out of the mans head. Seems distracting to me.


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