I love photographs. Particularly good ones. Perhaps enhanced from my journalism background, I find photos can capture rather poignant parts of history and moments in time that my words cannot. And perhaps disenchanted by my inability to take a non-out-of-focused photograph in low lighting (or any other lighting for the matter), I really appreciate those who can create brilliant shots.
In honor of this month, National Photography Month, I wanted to show my favorite photos of this past season. To narrow the field even further, each of these photos were submitted for our magazine (and a couple of them are just personal favorites, non-magazine related). Good writers may have some 3,000 words to tell a story. But good photojournalists can do it with one photo. See for yourself:
One word comes immediately to mind when I see this shot: camaraderie. I love the spirit of the photograph and how a sense of unity is evoked among these surfers.
The back story of this portrait is that photographer Jason Arnold told me he had about five total minutes to photograph former Dolphins player Twan Russell. And from that, Jason was able to score a fantastic portrait of a man who embodied football. Plus, the orange background (which ties in with the Dolphins) doesn’t hurt either.
It seems the common denominator of Jason Arnold only having about five minutes with his subjects continues here. Jason told me he and soccer coach (and former national player) Eric Eichmann met up early on the field, only to be washed with torrential rain. The guys waited out the storm as long as they could, and when they finally saw a break in rain, they ran out quickly to get this shot before the next sheets of rain fell down.
It seems so cliche to photograph a fashion designer along with some of her pieces or in her work room. But here photographer Jason Arnold does such a magnificent job of tying in the essence of Victoria Lopez Castro in a classy and non-gimmicky way. Perhaps it’s the look in the subject’s eyes or the angle in which Jason took the shots; either way, I find myself pulled back into the shots each time I look at them. And you know the ironic part? Due to layout constraints and myriad other reasons, we weren’t able to print either of these shots in the magazine.
Have you ever tried taking a photo of food? Let me clarify. Have you ever tried taking a good photo of food? I’ve tried for many, many months to do a good job with food shots, and somehow the delicious foods I photograph come off looking completely unedible. But here Steven Martine does a brilliant job of with his play on color – the bright blue plate accents well with the pink salmon tartare. Yummy!!
For as long as I live, and I hope to live for some time, I don’t think I will ever be able to forget these two shots. Edward Linsmier does a magnificent jobs of making a simple portrait of a young pianist look anything but simple. His use of back lighting creates such beautiful emotions. I remember when I first saw these two photographs, I literally gasped at how gorgeous they are.
Perspective. Vantage point. Just a slight change in either of them can easily make for a more memorable shot. With this one, by Justin S. Mein, a shot as boring as a Brazilian gaucho cutting a slice of meat at a rodizio comes with much more intriguing perspective now that Justin has an angle from up above.
If you are an elite athlete and bobsledder, I can assume a sense of power and boldness is innate to you. And those two words are personified in this Jason Nuttle portrait. When I first saw this shot, I was immediately taken aback. I think I literally breathed the word “wow” while at my office desk.
Fun. Just fun. You get that idea right away just by looking at these three brothers spinning around in this tea-cup ride.
A flamboyant Italian, an emerald-green grand piano, and a gold framed mirror hanging in the background – if you have any of those three elements in your shot, you are bound for a memorable picture. And with this one, by Jason Nuttle, you certainly have one. But what Jason does so well is combine all these rather uncommon elements in one shot without making it look garish or jarring. Instead, a Renaissance-like image emerges.
And, just for kicks, here are some of my favorite photos from my wedding, taken by the talented, gracious and super-tall Edward Linsmier: