Photos of the Week

Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week

December 18, 2020

By Jacqueline Tobin

Portrait photography can run the gamut in type and style—everything from the traditional “head and shoulders” shot to lifestyle and environmental, candid and street, glamour and boudoir, maternity sessions and so on. View our picks and read the backstories on the eye-catching portraits and photos that caught our attention this week.

[Read: How to Make Good Portraits in Lousy Settings]

Out of the Blue

This striking portrait, by Israeli photographer Gideon Laronne, was taken while Laronne was trekking through a jungle-like area in the Philippines.

“I saw this lone house in the distance and as I made my way through the wilderness, suddenly there was this window with a face looking out of it at me. I took the picture and then moved on. Only when I downloaded it later did I realize what an incredible shot I had gotten!”

Joshua Tree Jubilation

A couple of months back, Nevada-based photographer Tomasz Rossa was traveling to Palm Springs from Las Vegas when he noticed some Joshua trees on a piece of land that was ravaged by fire on the California-Nevada border. “I immediately thought of coming back to do a shoot and bringing my friend, Kanako Kitao, to be my model.”

Rossa, who is known for his ethereal underwater photographs, admits that land shots are easier for him to manage, despite issues that can arise with lighting and weather. “In this particular shot I was just dealing with a very strong sun that was setting down on the right of the frame so I just balanced it with a cross light on the opposite side. It was just me and my subject—the weather was not cooperating, so I went for simplicity.” (The luminous image was subsequently used for Rossa’s holiday card emailed out to industry colleagues.)

Although it looks like a nice, warm day Rossa says it was actually very cold and very windy. “I kept the car running with the heater on full blast; Kanako came out for just a minute or two at a time.”

Drone’s Eye View

At the time of this photo, utilizing a drone for portraits was a fairly new concept to Benjamin Edwards but he thought it could be a great opportunity to showcase the mom-to-be’s baby bump in a different way.

“I had the idea to place two cruiser bikes in an inverted pattern (thanks Top Gun!) to highlight the crazy pace of life while having the couple’s first child hanging out in the basket,” Edwards explains.”The most difficult part of this concept was getting the little girl to actually hang out in the basket, which she did for just a few seconds.”

Edwards says that this image serves as a reminder for him to always think outside the box. “In the future, I’d like to create more images on the two-dimensional plane, creating sets and using props to tell a story. I may have to add a seatbelt to the basket…”

A Painterly Light

Eric Ronald loves photographing getting ready shots. “It’s an opportunity to capture some of the more quiet moments that present itself on what can be an otherwise a pretty fast and chaotic wedding day,” he explains.

[Read: Creative Solutions for Timeless Wedding Portraits]

It’s also an opportunity where he can guide things a little to ensure the positioning and the lighting is just right (while keeping the hair and makeups artist happy, too).

“I’m a lover of renaissance art which naturally makes me gravitate towards low key lighting any chance I get. This scene, in in an old English palace, particularly lent itself to that painterly light I love so much. It’s that light that helps celebrate the little things in this image that make me love it so much. To me it’s all about the bride’s peaceful and restful smile while the twiddling of her fingers gives a little hint of anticipation of what’s to come.”

Eye-Catching “Delirium”

Sweden-based photographers Cooper & Gorfer (who are also Hasselblad ambassadors) recently embarked on a new piece titled “Delirium” that embodies the constant struggle of healthcare workers fighting through this pandemic.
Known for their visually rich collage portraits and free visual language, Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer’s work focuses on female subjects while exploring powerful, political and personal themes. Connecting with Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal just outside of Gothenburg, Sweden, the two photographers worked closely with members of the Intensive Care Unit tending to COVID-19 cases. “We wanted to get all the facets of those who care for patients in a critical Covid situation, and we wanted to focus on the women so as to be true to our other bodies of work,” Cooper explains.

Adds Gorfer: “We wanted the image to have a kind of ethereal feeling to it, with a Renaissance-inspired light and somewhat reminiscent of one of these epic battle scenes with an accentuation of the colors and the blue robes. The color blue is many times attributed to something of a holy nature or the color of kings. There are all these sorts of minor references that play into some of the rhetoric that is used for moments of historical struggle.”

Similar to Cooper & Gorfer’s other works, Delirium was composed in stages. The Hasselblad HC 50mm lens was crucial, say the photographers, because “we were in a tight space and the HC 50mm enabled us to get all of the women in the picture together without any distortion.”

Dig into the Photo of the Day archives for more compelling imagery.