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One Light Environmental Portraits with Tim Snow

Words and Photos by: Tim Snow

One of the biggest thrills for me as a photographer is meeting new people, hearing their stories and connecting with them on some level. One common thread that ties most people is that they either have a hobby that they love or a really cool job. My latest project, Interest, focuses on just that… showing people engaged in the activity that they love.

The formula is very simple, make a portrait which is on the left hand side of the diptych, and make an environmental portrait of the person engaging in their work/hobby on the right. Simple, but only on the surface…

As all of the shots are made on location, I do encounter some challenges; cramped quarters, less than appealing light, limited time with the person I am photographing…and that is reason number 2 for the project! As with anything worth doing, you have to put in the hours if you want to get better. Practice makes perfect. At least that is what I have been told since I was a kid…

The above photograph is of Norman Aube. Norm is living the dream, as the owner of a record store in Pointe-Claire, a suburb of Montreal, he is surrounded by the sound of music all day long. It is not a corporate run shop where it was so famously said in High Fidelity “That’s the fun thing about workin’ in a record store – you get to play crappy pap you don’t even wanna listen to”, he calls the shots and spins whatever it is he feels like listening to. The unmistakable pop of the needle dragging along the surface of the record, the warmth and depth of sound that has never been replicated in the digital formats that have followed, stepping into Norm’s store is like stepping into a time capsule filled with some of the greatest music ever recorded, and so many hidden gems that have not been heard since they went out of print!

The challenge was the piles upon piles of record sleeves surrounding me, and I knew setting my lightstand exactly where I wanted it would not be an option.

For more info on how Tim created these images using the Photoflex Octodome NXT in cramped quarters, visit: http://newwindworkshops.com/2012/04/16/lol-lighting-on-location/

[Ed Note] Tim will also be hosting a Single Speedlite workshop on May 5th and 6th. Visit http://newwindworkshops.com/ for more info.

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