Southern Region volunteer Dave Peckham gained his ARPS with a stunning panel of monochrome portraits. Here Dave shares his statement of intent and gives us an insight into how the panel came together.
The successful panel
Statement of Intent
During my career as a commercial and advertising photographer the genre I enjoyed more than any was portraiture, be it studio based or on location.
Building a rapport with the subjects, seeing the photographic possibilities within them and helping them relax in front of the camera in order to capture a great image is hugely rewarding.
I have included in my Associate Panel a mixture of images taken as part of or during commissions together with some personal images. Each of the subjects having, I think, interesting characteristics and personalities.
“Eyes are the windows of the soul” and for me engaging with the subject through eye contact with the camera is so important in order to reveal their own unique personality and individuality. Whilst presenting the panel in monochrome gives each image a further emotive and timeless quality.
Assembling the panel
Having taken the panel to an advisory day, Dave received the feedback of “not being quite ready” not least because he didn't have a statement of intent other than 'My Portraits'. So it was back to the drawing board although he wasn’t disappointed with the comments on the images.
Dave explained that his choice of monochrome for the images was dictated originally by the fact that some of them were actually taken on black and white film. Following the advice received he changed some images but stuck with the same format and applied a slight tone to give the panel better cohesion.
Whilst using a ‘collection’ in Lightroom to assess the panel a friend just happened to mention that many of the subjects were connecting with the camera by eye contact. Eureka! Dave had his ‘statement of intent’.
With some more switching of images, replacing subjects not looking directly at the camera with ones that were and a final rearrangment of the images, he had his panel ready for submission.
Environmental portraits played an important part in the panel but regardless of the setting, Dave's portraits give us a connection to the personality of the sitter. There is no doubt that the rapport Dave established with his subjects played a key role in the success of the images. Congratulations Dave on your award.