Ode to Irving Penn
So, I’ve decided I’m going to start doing my selfie Sundays again. It was something I did when Instagram first launched because I wanted people to see the face behind the camera. This time around, I really want to use the occasion to showcase a bit of my personal style and execute some of the endless stream of concepts that run through my brain on a regular basis.
I’m forever in my notepad app getting things written down before they dart out of my brain as quickly as they entered. The struggle is real. But creative minds are like that. Something will spark an idea, and off to the races we go, neurons firing on all cylinders until we get it all down before it escapes. And it’s a great thing, but often, we are limited in our opportunities to carry out those concepts in a way that’s profitable.
I’m keeping it simple. In a lot of ways, I’m going old school from techniques to tools. I’ve always had a love for photographers decades before my time, probably because I didn’t learn photography in a classroom until more than a decade after I picked up a camera. I learned from books borrowed from libraries, and through the horror of trial and error on film, with my allowance on the line.
I had a particular love of George Harrell, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and, of course, what 80’s/90s girl into photography wouldn’t love Jean-Baptiste Modino? But when finally I visited the Smithsonian Museum of Amerucan Art and experienced the Irving Penn works in person, just a couple of years ago, I was so inspired. The simplicity and complexity at the same time, the contrast, not only of hues, but in what is revealed and what remains hidden. It’s alluring to me. It catches my intention and holds it, and that’s precisely what a photographer is supposed ro do.
So this is my #selfiesunday for today. A nod to the amazing Irving Penn, it was pretty challenging to do as a selfie, particularly with a tight crop. I must’ve shifted right or left 3-5 centimeters, sat up 2 inches taller, or on my shoe, or moved my flag and inch or two and 10° in one direction or another at least 2 dozen times. But it was worth it. It’s a bold, unique self-portrait, it is a throwback technique with some modern pop, and it’s eye-catching.
I have something pretty cool planned for next week. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and subscribe to see more.