A local journalist/political reporter and friend of mine contacted me to have headshots done for a new online writing gig he had with the Star Tribune. I took some standard headshots for him to use on the official website, but took the opportunity to get creative with him for additional shots to use on his personal blog and other media ventures down the road.
Andy is a great writer, blogger, and gay rights activist and has built his reputation up over the years by covering the local Twin Cities, the State of MN, and our Upper Midwest Region with an every larger reach every year, but he has always related his coverage to the local community. I wanted to do a portrait of him that emphasized his “local” roots. Something that expressed his connection to neighborhood and community as well as evoked his personal style.
I decided to take his portrait on the roof of his garage in order to set the other houses as a backdrop in the shot to give a sense of “neighborhood”. Doing the shot in the front yard seemed too sterile since most people emphasize “curb appeal” instead of authenticity on the street. With the backyards and alley in the background, I was able to make the shot gritty and truthful (like a reporter digging for the backstory and behind the scenes details). I also love the telephone pole/wires behind Andy and lucked out with the cloud formations in the evening sky… They just add that little extra spark of visual interest to a nice portrait.