Katrina McCarty, who moonlights as a blogger in addition to her 9-5 policy/legislative work, contacted me because she wanted a portrait that captured her character as well as her writing conveyed her thoughts. She had seen my Boston Authors Project work, and wanted her headshot to convey her persona with a similar artistic sensibility as the Boston author portraits. No fake smiles, no staged setups, no unnecessary props. She just asked that I bring the essence of her personality to a photograph simply and elegantly, which I was delighted to do!
What I loved about working with Katrina was her wry, understated sense of humor leavened with a wicked soupçon of sarcasm. Just a tiny quirk of an eyebrow brought an entirely new meaning to a sentence and I had a terrific time working with her, laughing during the entire session. Yet Katrina also had a wonderful earthy warmth about her, and there was a lovely sense of comfort just being in her presence. I felt that bringing both these sides to her personality would be key in creating a three-dimensional portrait.
In this final image, I admit was going for a bit of Mona Lisa-style sarcasm/mystery, using Renaissance painting-like lighting techniques to convey the slightest hint of a smirk. Working with writers is one of my favorite challenges because there's so much subtext to their personalities, and bringing that richness to a photograph is one of the great joys of my job.