Angela Patmon revisited — Lessons from 2015

In spring of 2015, I met up with future Patmon Dance Project founder Angela Nicole Patmon for one of my first one-on-one portrait shoots**. I was a flailing moron. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. But when you’ve got someone as photogenic as Angela in front of your lens, it’s hard to screw up too badly.

I’ve come a long way in four years, and I wanted to see just how much my perspective had changed — revisiting my RAW files to pick favorites with fresh eyes, and to edit them from scratch.

In just a couple of cases, I picked images I’d also loved back in 2015. Here’s one that’s been living on my portraits pricing page. Mouse over or touch the image to see the original 2015 edit.

I learned a few things in this exercise — which I plan to repeat with other old collections:

  • I’m a lot pickier now about about what makes a good image. Some of that is experience, but a lot of it is comfort — knowing what I’m (now) capable of creating reliably, and feeling more at ease tossing what almost works.

  • I’m charmed today by images I ignored in 2015. Good thing I’m a digital packrat! I worry less (but still too much!) about what I’ve got to prove to my subject or my audience or myself. I’m better at trusting what speaks to me.

  • Maaaaaaaaan, did I take a lot of images on every shoot in 2015. I overcompensated for that unease with with a bagajillionity shutter clicks back then.

  • Angela is a crazy-cooperative, patient, game subject. If you’ve got a chance to work with her, don’t pass it up. She’s a real talent.

Here’s some more of what 2015 looks like through four years of practice and hindsight:

** Correction: I’d initially said this was my first one-on-one shoot. I was wrong! I’d already shot the very talented Jenny Bee in a makeshift studio at my home, and even run a couple of photo meetup events. I was, however, still a moron.