The Queen of the Mums

This is a Sunday Bonus Post (because I don’t usually do two posts in one day).  Scroll down if you want to see/read my day 4 outdoor adventures post (or click here).

I’ve been lurking for a while over at Views Infinitum, Scott Thomas’  Photography blog.  Sometimes I even do the assignments, but I either keep them to myself or keep the reason behind the photo to myself.  In other words, I don’t officially participate (because, you see, I’m shy that way).

Scott’s latest assignment involves Portraiture.  Karma tried her hand (or camera, as the case happens to be) at it here.  Kathy helped spread the word about the assignment here.  With all that blogging about it, I thought, “hmmm…might be worth a try.”  But portraiture?  I dunno.  I don’t have much interest in it as far as my own photography goes, and I am not very good at it.  It is possible those two things are related, but this is about portraiture not self-analysis.

One of the things I have been trying to do recently is shake myself up in a creative way.  Try something new.  Approach things with a different perspective.  So.  Portraiture.  Why not?

Well, I have no willing victim subject.  There is a shortage of people here in my household.  My husband doesn’t want his handsome face on the internet so there was no point in asking him.  The cats were not appropriate because the assignment clearly states it should be a portrait of a person.  Friends don’t want their faces posted.  My children and grandchildren are not nearby.  That left one possibility:  Find a willing stranger.

I’m not in the habit of walking up to strangers and asking if I can photograph them.  It’s something I should probably learn how to do, but since my preferences in photography don’t include people (with a few exceptions, mostly family and friends), I haven’t been in a hurry to practice those kind of skills.

While at the Mum Fest today I spotted the woman above posing for photos with children, with adults, and by herself.  She obviously dressed for the occasion and didn’t mind all the picture taking.  There was quite a line of people, cameras in hand, waiting for their turn to photograph her so I tried standing back and taking a few shots.

Although it was an overcast day, the light coming through the clouds at the time was a little harsh.  I softened her up with some pink tones to go with her dress, and added some glow because it seemed to suit her and her attire.  I obviously had no control over the background since I was taking a (sort-of) candid shot.

On our way out I saw her sitting by herself, the legion of camera-holding fans having departed for a brief moment.  I asked if I could take her photo.  She agreed and here it is…

Once again, I did a few things in Photoshop.  To be honest, I don’t remember what as I played around with the photo for a while, saving it several different times after doing several different things.  I obviously used the diffuse glow feature once again.   I decided against posting the unretouched photos.

Other options (which I prefer, to be honest):

And that, folks, is why I don’t do portrait photography.  😀


22 Comments on “The Queen of the Mums”

  1. anhinga says:

    There is nothing at all wrong with your portrait photography. You happened upon a unique, interesting subject. This was your lucky day–and ours.

  2. Kathy says:

    Wow! I am SO impressed!! Wait til you see my portraitures. You will think you are the next Portraiture Expert. You did a great job, Robin! I bow down deeply to your courage, creativity and skill. 🙂

  3. Karma says:

    What a great character you found for your portrait – and I think you did a great job showcasing her.
    You know, Scott never said you couldn’t do a self-portrait! 🙂

  4. Don’t forget to add this link to the assignment post, please. 🙂

  5. jenna says:

    *I* think it’s a really interesting photo. And what I say goes.

    So that’s that.

  6. Nickie says:

    They are great photos. I think portraits should be interesting and capture “a moment” or a feeling or a passage in time, and yours certainly capture a moment. You really got a character there.

    I think many portrait photographers must have a certain arrogance about them, because really they are using their subject and rather taking advantage. Not you, of course, but professionals. Yes, yes, it’s in the name of art, blah blah blah. I’m sure many will disagree with me here.

    PS That’s an amazing arch of flowers!

  7. Robin says:

    Nickie: Thank you. 🙂

    I thought the arch was pretty amazing too. Must have been a great deal of work to put that up and arrange the other 20,000 pots of mums.

  8. Carsten says:

    I prefer her front face portrait in color.
    I think you did a very good job, and that she would be happy to get a copy of her portrait.
    Everything ‘fits’ in this image.

  9. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) says:

    I’m partial to pink glow side view – it really seems to suit the subject! Thanks for sharing this unusual portrait subject with us.

  10. I really like the one where she posed for you. Her eyes and smile making a link with the viewer (at least, for me) which makes for an outstanding portrait. I live both the color and B&W versions.

  11. Robin says:

    Thank you, Scott. 🙂

    It was a fun assignment.

  12. Nye says:

    I like the 3rd picture of front portrait, the pale pink background made her face glow, real nice.

  13. […] model by asking though it did take a bit of courage for her to do so.  I, by far, favor the portrait with the model engaged with the photographer over the other ones.  Good work, […]

  14. […] it could have been the Mum Fest and my attempts at portraiture.  I am fairly certain it was long before I became Mesmerized with […]


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