The Art of Portrait Photography
June 2013 – Florida based photographer C. Michael Potthast just returned home from a week long teaching assignment at the Florida Professional Photography School in Daytona. Earlier this year, his work was featured on the covers of both Florida Professional Photographer and Professional Photographer magazines. Potthast holds Best of Show Portrait awards (Florida and Southeast United States) for 2012 and the list of awards and accolades goes on. In Mike’s words, his thoughts on a few photography related topics:
Influential photographers (& artists):
- Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002)- He could see light in a beautiful, simple manner. He was wonderful at capturing the moment in a shot that best portrays each subject he photographed.
- Irving Penn (1917-2009)- I love the composition he builds in his portrait work as well as his playfulness in creating situations that make for unique portraits.
- William Potthast (1932-2011)- My dad. I grew up on the coat tails of a wonderful master photographer. He used composition and lighting like no other at the time. He’s by far the most important influence on my work today.
- I love studying Renaissance period painters and the composition they built into their work; which I mimic in my portrait photography. My favorites: Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Durer and a great uncle, Edward Henry Potthast.
Toughest subjects: Kids (2 to 4 years old). Kids run the show. I can set situations up to work in my favor but if they aren’t working with you, it’s gonna be a tough shoot. At the same time, it can be very rewarding when you capture a great shot at that age; maybe the best age to capture kids’ portraits.
Noteworthy subjects: Sports subjects- Arnold Palmer, Urban Meyer, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Cecil Fielder, Mike Alstott, the Pouncy twins, Dan Wheldon and Lance Armstrong (…followed Lance 60 miles on the back of a motorcycle…it was a blast!) Celebrities- Eddie Money, Henry Winkler, Willard Scott, Jane Seymour and CMT 2013 New Artist of the Year Florida/Georgia Line.
For more info on photographer Michael Potthast: www.potthaststudios.com