An active portrait

Personally I have found myself taking many more photos of people while they're doing something than have them sit and pose. I find the sitting and posing much more difficult because it asks from me to let the subject feel at ease, pose in a way that's most suitable and make sure that the lighting is right, etc. The subject is entering my world and that means that I have to have everything in order and under control. When I enter the world of the subject and let it do whatever he or she is used to and comfortable with, I just need to be there, show interest and adapt myself to the subjects situation and environment. Somehow I feel more comfortable doing that, even though with strangers it takes some gut to take some of their time and being and and use them for my own photography. 

In Senegal there are many professions that are really difficult to find in the Western world. For this course I'll show a lot of them, because I really like visiting workshops where things are hand made, that elsewhere have been made by machines for years already. This weaver's workshop is one of them. When taking the images I had this exercise in mind and really wanted to focus on the expression of the subject, but in the meantime show some of the craft and machinerie that's being used. As the reader already says, in framing the image I had to focus on the person, that was the most important thing. So that also helps in  choosing the best image.  

When I came to the shop, the men were already working and they have not stopped while I took the images. At first they were a bit hesitant to have their images taken, but after I showed interest and just stayed there for quite some time, they relaxed and continued their work without trying to pose or look away. Here are some of the results: 

Looking through them, there are some that are more suitable as a portrait than others. The first and second one, interesting as they are, show more of the work itself and not so much the expressions of the people's faces. The third, fourth and fifth are already more focused on the person who's working, but I find that the number 6 and 7 show the most expression, in which 6 has a nice balanced feel to it and number 7 shows a great expression from the guy who's smoking a cigarette. If I could choose only one, number 6 will be it!

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