Photography Project 52: Week 52 – Funky Portraits

Lailo Portrait

Wow!  I can’t believe I actually did it…..one project a week for 52 weeks (almost) consecutively.  But more on that later.  As many of you know, I’m not really a “people” photographer.  I feel awkward taking peoples’ pictures: I can never seem to get it quite right…fast enough.  This week’s project was even more of a challenge, as I tried to explain to people, who had every reason to think I was a bit loony, what I was trying to do,  especially when I said “I’m going to take a picture of just your feet”.

This week’s project was inspired by Digital Photo (my new favorite photography magazine).  It involved creating a portrait triptych that capture part of the individual’s life.  Things  I learned:

  • People are more comfortable with you taking a picture of their feet than their face. It is really interesting how people position their feet and what it tells you about them.
  • When you say “do something interesting with your feet”, people tend to do really unique and unexpected things (well, except for the serious gentleman that was all business).
  • I took three separate images.  When I try this project again, I might try to take 1 image and slice it into three pieces to see if the proportions would make more sense (see next item).
  • Getting the proportions of the three segments is tricky.  I used Free Transform in Photoshop to size and place each image.  It was challenging to determine the size of the head in relation to the torso in relation to the feet.  Sometimes it was almost too perfect (as in my cover photo); other times it just seemed really off (as with the “cupcake” image).
  • Process and modify each image the same way…..and before you place it in the triptych.  I thought I would speed things up a bit by placing them all in the triptych and then processing once.  Retro effects turned the white borders colors I didn’t like…or want.

Ok, one last thing.  One year ago (and two weeks) from today I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I declared I would do a Project 52.  It’s been a crazy, intense year.  When I started this project, I thought “a couple of hours on Saturday…..how hard can that be?”  Many of these projects were all consuming for an entire week, not only for me, but unfortunately for Peter who was often called in to help me figure out different challenges – like how to keep egg parts from falling over and dropping their yolks.  I suffered my share of injuries, strange looks, and head scratches whenever I explained to someone what I was doing.  I also learned how amazingly supportive my friends, family, and co-workers could be (even as I jumped up during meetings to take a picture of something happening outside a window).  I grew a lot creatively and as a photographer and now see things very differently (like the side of a water tower).

I have now become a collector or projects.  I have a list of over 100, and a passion to continue exploring.  I may need to take a couple of weeks off to clean up my files (they are truly a disaster), and to figure out a way to scale back the level of effort so I can actually go back to “stress-free” Saturdays.  I’ll continue to post on Wednesdays (maybe Thursdays :))….so feel free to send me comments and ideas for things you’d like to see.

Mark Triptych Karen Triptych Barista Triptych

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One thought on “Photography Project 52: Week 52 – Funky Portraits

  1. Congrats Mary, I must tip my cap to you I don’t think I can do a project like that, so nice to see that you stuck it out, good job and I hope to see more nice images from the both of you.

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