The Blogger at Leisure

A fanatic of (and striver towards) simplicity and elegance in portraiture, my goal is to learn about the craft in past epochs and see how this can inform my work today. I am based in Arlington, Va.

Portraiture, simplified

I picked up a camera for the first time in my life about 17 years ago on the occasion of the birth of my first daughter. I wanted to capture those irreplaceable moments that I (rightly) suspected would fade away into a kind of murky semi-obscurity. Every once in a while, though, I would look back at those pictures of crying, giggling, or playing children and ask myself why my snaps were so fundamentally different (read: poorer) in quality from pictures of crying, giggling, or playing children I would see on TV, in magazines, or in museums. Never having studied art, I fumbled for years in this pursuit, but finally decided in 2020 to take a more rigorous look.

I hope you join me, just a regular bloke with a regular day job, as I take a light-hearted but still eager look at various aspects of portraiture, from lighting to colors to retouching to backdrops to….anywhere the spirit leads, but always with the goal of making my pictures more simple, more elegant, while minimizing heavy digital manipulation. I’ll always find an excuse to consult “The Masters” and portraitists of times past, as I move forward in my quest to understand their choices of composition, lighting, equipment, and philosophy.