A really good portrait does more than capture a person’s likeness, it also tells you something of their story. Who are they? Are they warm or are they aloof? Have they lived a life of hard labor or a life of leisure? Portraits that tell you a story are more compelling then portraits that are just attempting to show you a person at their best at that one particular point in time.
As a photographer its my goal to make interesting portraits. Sometimes you get really lucky with a subject.
I met Charlie outside of a restaurant (domestic – http://wvdomestic.com/) in Shepherdstown, WV just after lunch. The restaurant’s owner was sitting outside taking a break and I asked him if I could take his picture (that’s another post for another day). He graciously accepted but he also said that I should really be taking pictures of the other gentleman sitting outside, Charlie.
Charlie wanted to have his picture taken. He had a story to tell and he made it easy for me to tell it. As a photographer there is nothing better than having an interesting subject who wants to be photographed and is completely comfortable in front of the camera. In this case Charlie, a now retired photojournalist, loves meeting new people and talking photography and this image tells his story.