The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Portraiture

Lovely story and image from Jason Bell about taking a portrait of the inimitable Steven Fry in the Guardian.

Done a few portraits for commercial clients and magazines, always a bit of a rush and I need to be more bossy sometimes to get what I want. But big powerful people can be a little intimidating sometimes, though it was fun to tell a leading financier to put his head down a bit to look less arrogant. Yet you have to get their essential character under the show and unreality of being photographed, his was arrogant actually, but obviously I can’t shoot that for a client. Getting it right is not always easy.

Nothing should be scarier than photographing Butoh dancers though. This is a picture of Butoh dancer, Rita Turner I shot for a film maker who was making a short film with her a few years ago and is quite the scariest picture I have in my archive. Yes! you are seeing correctly; her eyes are completely white as she has turned them back into here head!!!

Her essential character however doesn’t come across as she is one of the sweetest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. But this is her character “in character” as it were and what I needed to shoot. What I like about the Steven Fry picture linked above is the same idea, the picture isn’t who he is all the time but who he needed to be for that shoot. Which isn’t how it is supposed to be I thought but each time I shoot I’m learning a little more that I control the reality. Got to practice being bossy now. Think my wife should be able to teach me something there.

Damon

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