Santa Fean Portraits

I relish most of the work I do as a photographer, but there is nothing I like to photograph more than environmental portraits. There is something very gratifying about pulling up to a shoot with a bit of background information and then working with the subject to find the space and setting that they feel best represents them and figuring out how to light it. As luck would have it, over the past few months I've been commissioned by the Santa Fean for almost twenty portraits.

When assignments of this size come in, my first steps are logistical: mapping out a timeline based on people's schedules and trying to keep in mind the movement of the sun. I always ask the subjects what time of day their gallery/restaurant/studio/etc looks best, which way their favorite rooms face, where the windows are, and so on. Such preparation is crucial for me for all of the obvious reasons, but also because it helps build some rapport with the subject, letting them know that I care enough to bring out their best. More often than not, I think it helps them to put their best foot forward as well, something that I find makes a big difference. The images below represent somewhere around half of the overarching shot list of local luminaries. Subjects include gallery owners, restauranteurs, artists and other folks with a profound presence in the local community. While these photos are from a few different assignments, many of them can be seen the way they were published, with accompanying text by clicking here and navigating to pages 31-41.

*The Walt Willey photo on page 39 was not taken by me