Womanwise 09

Allison Demas has a gorgeous house, which makes an environmental portrait all the more challenging. We've met before, so she felt comfortable giving me a tour of the public areas of her home. So many set pieces, which the homeowner was so keen to offer for my consideration.

The challenge that I’ve set for myself on the Womanwise stories is not just to take some nice pictures, but to capture something of the character of my subjects within the limits of our short interaction and using all the context I can find to add information to the image that will help to tell a visual story.

Part of that challenge is anticipating what the story is likely to be about since the news schedule, the writer’s schedule, the subject’s schedule and my own schedule often reduce the window of opportunity to a sliver.
Walking through the house, I saw my opportunity and my long-shot. Eyeing an attractive wading pool, I suggested a photo with Allison and her daughter Aisha wading on the sunny afternoon.

“I am not getting into that pool.” Allison responded firmly.
The cool thing with getting shot down early is that most subjects will actually be more accommodating the second (or third time) around.
The first shot would be easy, an image of mother and daughter doing something they usually do, reading together in a plush couch. The image wasn’t used particularly well in the paper, but I think it’s pretty cool. Shot with the 100mm f2 Macro at a sliver thin (for the subject matter) f3.2, the busy background drops into an informative but not too distracting bokeh blur.

The cover image required the most trust and participation from the subjects, so I saved it for last. It required the subjects to slide down into a very comfortable chair just a bit beyond the point of true relaxation and get really close together. I shot that one from almost directly overhead with the 24-105mm zoom lens, tweaking and twisting my angle to make the best use of the vivid, very directional pattern of the fabric of the couch.

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