March 11, 2008

Pictures, or it didn’t happen!


Strange? Maybe. Cool? Definitely.

A friend alerted me to a photographer in Brooklyn who is doing a different kind of photography – undercover. According to Daily Candy – New York,

“You are being watched.

No, no! We didn’t mean it in a creepy, Richard Ramirez kind of way. This is a good kind of stalking. The kind you pay for, actually.

It’s MethodIzaz, a new style of undercover portrait photography from young Brooklynite Izaz Rony.

Don’t be shy. Meet with the enthusiastic, unintimidating fellow-with-snapping-fetish, who will tailor his covert photo-taking technique to your specifications. Hand over your weekly schedule (or that of your unsuspecting subject) and go about your business as usual — working, shopping, jaywalking, etc. Rony takes your (or your unsuspecting lover’s) photos on the sly, subject unaware.

The results are candid portraits devoid of artifice. No stupid fake smiles, manufactured poses, unsightly turtle chins, or deliberate crotch shots. Leave that kind of overexposure to the papparazzi.”

Really, how cool is that?

I try to shy away from really contrived poses and expressions and this is the ultimate in natural. Anyone up for it in the San Francisco Bay Area? I’m game!

And another similar idea is undercover photography for marriage proposals. Totally genius! The asker hires a photographer to covertly capture the moments before, during, and after he (or she) pops the question. See this New York Times article for more.

Of course it’s not for everyone but with a greater and greater emphasis on candid, photojournalistic moments, it’s no surprise that people are asking for these private moments captured by professional photographers. This is the real deal. This is authenticity at it’s finest. As some in the article mentioned, “Proposal photographs represent the absolute beginning of the marriage story, and for some groom who is influenced by these other forces, this is sort of an obligatory scene to record.” The idea that really struck a chord with me was, “You can take pictures with the woman you love all the time, but the smile on her face in that moment is something you can’t recreate.”

This is an amazingly exciting time to be a photographer. People are letting me into their lives to experience the tenderest, most meaningful moments of their lives. I already feel incredibly honored when asked to shoot a wedding – this couple is choosing me to document and artistically capture one of the most special days of their lives. But now there’s that much more that people want captured. Take these for example: birth photoshoots, “a day in the life”, bride getting dressed for her wedding day, and more.

I photograph for Moment By Moment, which is a nonprofit organization that pairs photographers with children who have life-limiting illnesses. Free of charge, the photographer photographs the child and family in the hospital, home, or wherever it is most comfortable for everyone. The family then receives a box of photographs and a CD with all of the images. It’s emotional and difficult but the family members are so thankful to have these images and I’m thankful to be able to take them.

Photojournalism isn’t just for newspapers anymore. We may not be The Truman Show yet but professional portrait photographers like myself are getting in on the action and sharing some pretty amazing times with people. Being allowed to follow the lives of people is incredible: proposal photography, engagement photography, wedding photography, maternity photography, birth photography, child photography, family photography, high school senior photography… Rinse, and repeat!

If you are looking for someone to covertly photograph your proposal or discreetly capture your true expressions, contact me and we’ll let the planning begin!

Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!

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