If I use Instagram as research for black and white portraiture today I sure am seeing a lot of images that would have been in style in the 1990s. The 30 year style circle....


Michelle. Early 1990s. Film.

No matter how much photography changes I am fascinated that with new tech, new cameras and new post processing tools when I look at examples of portraiture from all over the world I keep finding an endless variety of portraits that circle around three main parameters. Those would be: 1. The increasing use of black and white. 2. Medium-to-long lenses used to lightly compress the perspective. 3. Wider apertures to drop backgrounds well out of focus. Sub-trends have to do with poses, compositions (mostly head and shoulders) and expressions (calm and quiet). 

There is one more trend but it's been front and center almost since the beginning of photography. Perennial.  That would be the subjects; usually beautiful, young women with gorgeous eyes. 

I love this two light approach to portraiture (above). It's one big light from one side and one small grid spot to illuminate the background for a tight area of separation. 

I can switch from camera to camera and lens to lens (if they are all around the same angle of view...) and if I hew to the essentials list above I can make portraits that I really like. 

Off to swim practice. Tossing my "travel kit" in the car. It's a tiny Domke bag with the Sigma fp, an extra battery, and the 24,45 and 90m Sigma Contempo lenses. All slow. All good. What more do we need?