Why Black & White

Obviously, my passion is for the black and white photography medium.   I feel that gray must be added to the rubric, so I like to refer to it as black and white and gray.   The grayscale is integral to the image�s representation and to the feeling, intent or emotion that is to be conveyed to the viewer.

Very rarely do I work in a color medium.   While I love color and colorful things, I feel that often the color imposes too much on the image so that the image is more about the color than the content and intent.   The colors can independently create an emotional response in the viewer.   (This is not necessarily a negative if that component is integral to the artistic message and supports what the artist is trying to say.)   Therefore, ironically, although color is the naturalistic state of being, in a portrait it doesn�t necessarily support the goal of creating a naturalistic portrait in the same way as black & white & gray.

My intent is to bring out more of the depth of the subject and help the viewer see, feel and explore more of the subject than that which appears on the surface.   I feel that black, white and gray photographic materials support my intent to create a naturalistic portrait that gives the viewer the presence of the portrait subject and some insight and feeling of the person.

Naturalistic Portraiture Style

I seek a naturalistic look to the portraits I create.   To me this means that the two dimensional image of the portrait subject is as three dimensional as possible, that they appear to be present, and that the viewer feels their presence.   This can be portrayed in an environmental portrait and/or with naturalistic lighting.   I avoid over use of glamour lighting that I believe creates an unreal and less natural image of the person.   My goal is for the viewer to feel that the person in the photograph is alive and that the viewer is there with them.   Equally important is for something of the subject�s personality and individuality to be brought out in the portrait.

Accomplishing the goals I have for the portraits that I create requires the establishment of some rapport, comfort, understanding and insight.   To this end I feel it necessary to meet with the portrait subject at least once prior to the portrait sitting.   Being in their company gives me the opportunity to gain insight to their personality, expressiveness and physical presence.   I can also learn about things in their life that they feel help define their individuality.   The process helps me to visualize an image of what I want to create and bring out in the portrait.   And, perhaps most important, it gives both of us a process for establishing a rapport, chemistry, comfort level, or whatever you wish to call it that can produce a natural flow to the photography sitting.

Your Life is a Work of Art

The creation of your life as you live it is a work of art.   Can the work of art in progress that is your life be seen in photographs of you?   I want to make such photographs if you will collaborate with me in their making.

The Legacy Print

As a work of art, it should be preserved for the ages.  One way of doing so is to make it in to a visual work of art that we know can stand the test of time.   I call it a “LEGACY PRINT” because it has such permanence that it can be passed down to generations of descendants well in to the next century so that they will be able to see and know the people in the photograph.   It is a traditional black & white & gray photograph processed to exacting standards for archival permanence.  No digital mediums are used in the making of the LEGACY PRINT.   All aspects of the creative process including developing the film and printing the photograph are performed by the artist, Alan Mevis.  And, just like any other work of art, the artist signs the artwork (usually on the back or border area).

Of course, I have no requirement that any or all of your portrait prints must be made by me as Legacy Prints.  The Legacy Print is made on what we call fiber based paper.  This kind of paper is more expensive and requires much more work and time to process it to the exacting standards for the archival permanence of the Legacy print.  Other or additional prints can be made as STANDARD PRINTS on Resin Coated (RC) paper.

Headshots, Senior Portraits and Additional Prints

Headshots, commercial portraits and all or additional prints of family, individual and senior portraits can be made as STANDARD PRINTS on RC paper at your option.   RC paper is less expensive and requires less time and work to process.  Although it cannot be made for archival permanence, it has a sufficient qualitative longevity to satisfy many requirements, and shouldn�t begin to deteriorate for several decades.   Unless you want the print as a legacy, an RC print will likely serve your needs.  Also, should you require DIGITAL FILES of your portrait, headshot, etc., I can easily scan the print (low, medium or high resolution) and burn the files to a CD.

View Portraiture Portfolios: Portraits, Headshots, and Seniors





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