Magazine Société

Environmental portrait

Publié le 03 février 2011 par Hfranchineau
I met Grace and Sabrina last Sunday afternoon. I have searched a random event to shoot, to practise my photo skills, and I have stumbled upon this "cake pageant," happening in Chelsea. To raise funds for a art program for school girls in Queens, a small theather was organizing a cake competition. 15 contestants had registered, and 3 judges (including a journalist from NY1) had been summoned to taste the delicacies. Delicacies? Yes, but some of them looked a bit over-the-top and tasted nothing but sugar and cream.
I met Guadalupe, the youngest of the contestants (16 y/o), who had baked cupcakes and wanted to become a chef.
I met Grace and Sabrina too: they are setting up their venture called "Brown Butter Brooklyn," and they plan to sell cookies, cakes but also savory dishes to markets and parties. Grace's blood orange and ricotta cake won the competition. I went to Sabrina's house in Brooklyn last night to shoot them again. My assignment for the DM photo class this week was to shoot an "environmental portrait." I thought that it was overall a difficult exercise on several levels:
- you have to adapt in a completely environment, one that maybe is not ideal to set up a shoot (light, furniture etc);
- you have to create a relationship with your subject and be comfortable enough yourself to tell the person to move around, stand here and there, get closer, etc, but also make your subject forget that you are here;
- there is a time constraint: I felt that I could not ask them to put their lives on hold for 3 hours, although I would have needed that time to get a satisfying result. I stayed about 1h15mn, until 7.30pm. Sabrina's kid was hungry, it was time to go.
Below, what I'm going to submit to class tomorrow:

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