Portrait Book and Walking Workshop

Exciting things are happening on the photography front, and I am happy to report some progress on my portraiture book in the making. The overall structure of it is complete, and I am well into writing the first draft.

The book aims to help you get more out of your portraits and to tell a story. Whether you’re new to photography or a seasoned professional, there will be things in there for you to enjoy, get inspired by and apply to your own pictures.

The content includes a mix of tips on everything from lighting to interacting with subjects, and it will have stories and examples from myself and others, all about what makes a portrait great.

Many have already helped the writing along by taking the survey associated with this book, sharing what they care about and struggle with in their own photos. I’m using this research to make sure I address the most frequently asked questions and major concerns.

On a related note, I am organizing a set of photography workshops!

If you’re in the Seattle area in mid August, September or October, you have a chance to join me on a small and exclusive photo walk, during which I will offer tips on how to shoot on the fly and on location. There will also be a Q&A after the walk, and a surprise or two thrown in along the way.

There are limited spots available for these walks, so sign up now if you want to be a part of the walking workshop.

Webley, Palmer and Gaiman (aka Favorite Photo of 2011)

Throughout any given year I shoot thousands of photos, so when I was recently asked which one was my personal favorite of 2011, I had a difficult time answering. However, when thinking about it over a couple of days, the one above kept jumping out at me.

On 11-11-11 I documented Jason Webley‘s concert at The Moore in Seattle. That was where I caught this moment in time. Webley is talking about the virtues of love, while Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer sit together behind him, listening.

There is a love story there, and it starts with a look of genuine happiness on Jason Webley’s face, as he looks up into the light, sharing his joy with (and for) the audience. Amanda Palmer represents that audience to me, relaxed, attentive and having a good time, and Neil Gaiman ties the story together, looking down at his wife with complete adoration and a smile that says simply: “I Love You.”

There is enough intimacy in this photo, that I felt a little like a peeping tom as I put it through post processing, like I was crashing a private party. I actually had to remind myself that it was taken at a public event. That is why this is my favorite photo of 2011. It makes me feel like giving my wife a kiss, putting on some good music and take pleasure in the little things in life.

Click on the photo above to view a larger version.