As part of a year long portrait project, Kevin Huver recently had the opportunity to shoot participants at the Alexander Calder’s birthday celebration at the Nomad Gallery in Grand Rapids. After speaking to a crowd of 40 participants about how to produce great shadows in portraits, Kevin then held a drawing for 5 participants to receive a free portrait on the spot. Kevin’s workflow allows the subjects to see live results of their photos on a nearby computer screen making the process exciting for the photographer AND the subject.
“Portrait photography is more about connecting with a person than about making a great photography.Anyone can set up a light and shoot a photo, but not anyone can draw out emotions for a great shot. First each subject sits on a stool for fifteen minutes where we talk about each other, where we come from, what makes me who I am. Getting vulnerable in front of a subject is an important step in connecting two thought moments. These thought moments are something both heavy hearted and lighthearted expressed by thinking about something meaningful. At first people didn't know what to make, then they were consumed with the process. There is a story behind every image so you have to have deeper dialogue and a conceptualized pathway. How the person will feel, look, and light will interact with the scene. As a photographer you have the responsibility to capture that emotion and give it to the audience.”
After spending years in the film industry, Kevin gained unique insight on how to relate to subjects in a way that gets them to open up on film. After all, anyone can set up a light stand and shoot a photo. Not everyone can create a moving portraiture that captures raw emotion.