U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Pittsburgh

RE: Pittsburgh

On Wed, 26 Mar 2008, BOB KISS wrote:

	Well, Andy, himself, would shoot candid portraits with his SX-70 for
his big silk screen portraits.  He would make big screen negs from the
Polaroid image and then he and his assistant, Ronnie Cutrone, (long since a
very big name in painting in NYC: See the lobby of the Saatchi building)
would choose the colors for each of the screens.  I usually sent prints to
clients via messenger or via the least busy of my assistants but the goings
on at the "Factory" were always so interesting that I took every opportunity
to drop off the prints myself.  They were on B'way and 17th
I bought a gallon of fresh apple cider at the Union Square farmer's market today... 17th St & ...probably University. I forget where Broadway is at that point, but close. Andy wouldn't recognize the place... organic cheese, a major Barnes & Noble, Zeckendorf Towers, et al... very upscale.

	Yes, we did expend a lot of effort to get the "look" we wanted.  I
am happy that you feel it was successful.  The portrait sitting is, no
matter how one tries to make it otherwise, a contrived situation.  Therefore
much is necessary to distract the subject from the contrivance and from
their self consciousness in that contrived environment.  The biggest (and
most enjoyable trick) is to find a way to get your subject to light up from
inside.  As mentioned, I would do pre-shoot research and then chat and
listen in the dressing room to get material to use to get them talking and
thinking of things other than their immediate (photographic) environment.
If you can manage that, it is just a matter of following their mood swings
and shooting the options.
That's extremely interesting Bob -- suggesting that "the look" photographers get in a portrait is as much a part of their style as the rest of the operation. I love John Dugdale's comment that he tells subjects "don't make an 'expression,', the expression God gave you is enough," or words to that effect. And John's portraits are magical. I suspect however that if something else isn't going on, that "expression" could be "duuuuh!"