portraits – when in doubt, ask an extrovert (or introverts in groups)

Another interesting tidbit that a borderline introvert like myself found per chance during a course in conceptual photography hosted by the Stellenbosch academy for design and photography ;

During the session dealing with male portraits, our task was to ask a family member to sit for a portrait and then, should interest overcome nervousness, do a ‘da family’ theme.


For me this was first about the asking someone to sit for a portrait and then secondly making the portrait – the technical bits are the easier bits, it is the engagement that i consider problematic…

With adult male family members non existent, my son was my fall back – well versed to sit for a quick photo (which turns to 10 photos and testing his patience). With a prop reflecting his passion – both of us was happy when it took only 3 photographs when I was comfortable that I had something.

I had to ask an adult male..

I assumed men would be apprehensive to sit for a portrait – but during an idle discussion with a friend the thought struck me that he may be interested in the theme – so I asked. Extroverts, considering a sample of 1, are keen to fool around. And maybe introverts as well, as long as they can do it in groups. His best friend (an introvert) was roped into the theme idea and the following weekend we had 3 adults, dressed up in suits donning a variety of props had some fun trying to represent ‘da family’.

Da Family – featuring yours truly and two mates

Turning this into a social experiment I cajoled a couple of colleagues for another view on mafiosi. They readily agreed. 10 minutes, at work, flash bounced off roof…

Moral of the story? Own nervousness is a much bigger problem than getting willing participants for something interesting.

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