For the past few years I have been following and admiring the work of photographers Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze. They both produce these amazing, painterly fine art portraits.
As an art major (and almost art history minor) I was drawn to paintings by masters such as Rembrandt. Sue and Felix use lighting techniques similar to old world masters and I have wanted to produce something like that but never had the time for a personal project.
I finally put a plan together to start creating my own fine art portraits. I wanted dresses that were high quality and looked amazing, so I reached out to Tanvi Asher who owns Shop Peppermint, which is one of the coolest stores in Rochester, NY. Tanvi also designs dresses! She hooked me up with over a dozen dresses, which must have weighed over 100lbs.
Katie was a bridesmaid at Megan and Andy’s wedding, so we had worked together before and she was willing to help me practice this new style. She came into my studio in August and brought Megan along for moral support. I was very grateful to Katie for her time and for helping me out. That is why I felt so bad that it took me six months to send the photos to her. Why did it take me six months?
It took me so long because I wasn’t happy with how the photos were coming out. The lighting was great and Katie looked fabulous. But everytime I edited the photos, they looked boring. They didn’t have the look or emotion that I had envisioned. This style was new to me, so I was creating something from scratch.
Photography is so much more than just pointing the camera. It truly is an art, and the way that images are processed (or developed as we used to do in the darkroom) has a big impact on the final presentation. I didn’t want to just use a preset that someone else created. My goal was to present these exactly as I saw them in my mind as I took the photos. I worked so hard to create something that I hoped other people would be drawn to. I’m not happy to just put an image out there for the sake of finishing it. I really take pride in my work toil until it is perfect.
I am finally happy to present Katie’s portraits. After at least 20 different editing attempts, I finally produced the fine art portrait that I envisioned.
If you are interested in portraits in this amazing style, let me know.