I finished a project I was doing for myself. It's a site with 100 portraits that I like very much.



I always feel like my portfolios are jumbled and mixed. I wanted to create a site full of portraits that showed some of my range but more importantly some sort of cohesiveness. To that end I started sifting through hundreds and hundreds of portraits I've shot to find the ones that I liked to look at.

It's a good exercise and in my case it pointed out to me where I am weak and where I need more depth in the work that I share.

It's not a definitive collection. 100 images is little more than a tasting platter of the thousands of portraits I've shot. But it's fun to work toward a goal and my goal was to have this group of photographs that I could share, without reservation, with my clients from across many industries.

I'll use the gallery to create an e-mail campaign to existing clients. For many it will be a reminder while for the clients who hired me to shoot product or lifestyle, or who hired me on someone's recommendation (without seeing a portfolio or the work) it will be an opportunity to deepen their understanding of my core work.

Many, many people write comments to this blog and talk about how they can't stand to read talk about gear. Others state that the only thing that matters is the image. I could argue that our page views drop to near zero every time I show work or talk about photographs and rebound into the tens of thousands every time I write about an Olympus m4:3 camera but instead I'll just show the work and see what happens over on the sister blog site.

I hope you'll drop by and visit. The site is meant to be dynamic and you can change the way you view it by selecting from the menu across the top. I like "mosaic" for this presentation but you can customize it to work for you.

It's freezing here today. I hope you stay warm wherever you live. Kirk


Craig said...

Nice! Lots of Ben and Belinda in there, naturally. Something tends to stand out about those pictures, though they still fit into the overall collection.

The weather's fine here in California. Sorry you're still freezing in Austin.

MikeR said...

I like both - the work and the gear. Truthfully, although a gear-head, I like your non-gear essays more. But it's close.

WELL below freeing here, NW of Philadelphia, and expecting -1 tonight.

Victor Bloomfield said...

I'll vote for this over gear reviews any day. In addition to the excellent portraits (and interesting people you've chosen as models), I am struck by the different ways of displaying the images on blogger. I'll have to explore that further.

Michael Matthews said...

The Mosaic display does work well for this. Although some images may show up cropped oddly, that does create an urge to click-to-see-more.

Strange how the Samsung trade show shots seem to grab the foreground.

Gato said...

You can write about gear if it keeps the blog going -- so long as you keep up a decent flow of images and writing about images. And about the business of photography.

While I enjoy many of your gear posts -- for a more informed and practical view than most sites -- it is the balance that keeps me coming back.

What you say about the numbers for gear posts vs. photo posts worries me a bit -- though maybe it helps explain why so much of the photography I see online is so deadly dull and repetitious.

Anonymous said...

Tried three different browsers (Safari, Firefox, Opera) to view the portrait site—and all I get is the blogspot gear spinning. Perhaps it's getting too many hits right now.


Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Don't know what to tell you. It's running fine on all five of the computers sprinkled around the house, from Safari to Opera to Chrome. Can't think we're getting enough response on that site to crash the Google servers just yet....

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

DB, I reset all the parameters for that site. Give it one more shot...

Edward Richards said...

The medium format images really catch the eye. The perfect balance for portraits. The lenses are fabulous and DOF is still manageable (as compared to LF) and the near/far relationships are just right for people. I get what you mean about the physical size of the sensor being the issue, not the pixels. Maybe you could create the artisan high end portrait niche with images shot on film and printed on hand coated paper. Starting at $100k a sitting.

Anonymous said...

Kirk, just FYI, two pictures (your photographer friend Will and the actor playing the Texas rancher) are on there twice (at least when using the classic format where you scroll down through the gallery). Otherwise, looks great. Thanks for sharing.

Old Gray Roy said...


Studio lighting photo class at local community college. Assignment: duplicate a photo of a photographer of your choice as exactly as you can. Because of your writings about lighting, and the quality of your work, my choice was of the man you identify as Mike Hicks. Took some time and came out primo. My model is a nice guy but not particularly amusing.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Very nice - tho a few favorites of mine are missing. But ok, you cannot show everything in just 100 pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

"I could argue that our page views drop to near zero every time I show work or talk about photographs and rebound into the tens of thousands every time I write about an Olympus m4:3 camera"

I may be stating the obvious but that's pretty simple, isn't it, and your own 'fault' really.

You've attracted an audience of mostly photographers and camera nerds rather than 'normal people,' like your paying customers, potential and actual.

Most of your regular readers are apparently amateur photographers, some aspiring and some more advanced. Along with a few gadget nerds.
Many of those in the beginning stage are still obsessed with gear and act like sponges whenever they see a gear-related post written by some more seasoned photographer.
Those with a bit more shooting mileage under their belt tend to get tired with pure gear talk much earlier, and they're inspired by other, more pragmatic stuff. After all, after a certain point it's not all about the gear. Or at least the focus shifts more towards how rather than with what.

But as for the visitor count, suppose it's all about your online presence and the content you're providing. You got what you bargained for.
It also tells us that apparently your paying clients don't read your blog, thanks to the gear-oriented content, and they find you some other way. Which is sort of interesting in itself.

Or perhaps the number of your actual potential client readers simply gets drowned by the masses of photographers and camera nerds who come back time and again for more gear talk.
Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I just don't think your client audience is too interested in gear talk.

spycamera said...

On a totally different subject. The big freeze , Google it and you will see there is snow right across to Africa , this is no joke but the scientists that I know who have been following this all there life tell me there is a higher than average chance that your country could freeze over (anytime in the present future) This information has been withheld from the general public.
I am not a crank just letting you know of the danger.
My Name is Michael Petersen and and have followed your site for years. I own the www.spycameramuseum.cim.au

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Resetting the parameters worked. The page load quickly.


Mike said...

I would be interested to hear more about how you are using this in your e-mail campaign. I'm working on my marketing efforts and would love your insights.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Thanks for circling back around DB.

Anonymous said...

In contrast to the post I just sent in about MF pictures (the ones in the blog are exquisite by the way) - I really like the one of the girl at the Salon, 6th St. Austin. Quite lovely.

(your B&W square photos are often really characterful - such a great contrast to the prevailing inscrutable vibe that seems to be popular in portrait photography currently)


Julian said...

All of the portraits together suddenly made it much more evident just how good you are at portraits.

Your gear posts are interesting because of your professional experience. I'd love to see you bring the same clarity, honesty, and gift for explanation to writing about making portraits. I don't mean just telling us where you put the lights, but what happens before and after the gear.

Anonymous said...

The new site is great, well done!
On a separate note, is the portrait on this article that of an Italian actor, by any chance? The resemblance is striking, to say the least..

David said...

I like them very much, too. I also have to admire a man who takes his Hasselblad with him to have coffee. Good work.