July 5, 2017

Free Fall

The image below is from a recent family photo shoot in Marshall, North Carolina. The small children that participated in the family gathering began to grow somewhat tired (let’s say, “cranky”) of the the whole affair and were becoming less cooperative. The young girl pictured here was more concerned about being close to her mother and leaned in for this quick and charming grab shot. As I was conscious of the graphic possibilities of the reds in the previous group shots using this barn as the backdrop, it was by chance that the girl’s red dress created a cascading effect showing repeated movement in what would otherwise be a more stagnant composition.

Free Fall

Free Fall

All images © Joe Longobardi. All Rights Reserved.
The City

August 24, 2015

When I’m 94

I recently was called upon to photograph a family reunion in Montreat, North Carolina earlier this month. It had been a while since I had the opportunity to capture a large family event, in this case some 50 family members of various extended relationships. The large gathering was held at the Montreat Conference Center outside the town of Black Mountain. The session was about two hours of indoor and outdoor shooting as I ran about organizing large and small groups of families. But I also took the time to capture some candid moments for myself (yes, I’m a street photographer at heart!) that I felt the family may also appreciate. I caught up with one person in particular that truly stood out from cacophony of the afternoon–the women pictured below. Her name is Rachael. 94 years old, born in 1925. I engaged in some polite conversation as she regaled me with stories of her life. I managed to grab a number of quick shots hoping to capture the essence of this gentle woman. She was completely void of all ego, and was very relaxed in her attitude and acceptance of everything around her. At almost a century, she had no problems getting up and around and sitting in on the group portraits outside on the hotel deck, or indoors by the large fireplace that served as a backdrop for many of the family members. The photo below is my personal favorite from my ten minutes of time I spent with her, hence its inclusion in this blog.

At almost a hundred years, we should all be in this place in our lives.


All images © Joe Longobardi. All Rights Reserved.

May 30, 2015

Street Portraits with 24mm and 28mm lenses

This blog is part of a series and accompanying introduction to a street photography event that will happen on June 19, 2015 in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. For more information visit Street Photography and the Summer Solstice on Facebook.

When people think of portraiture, what generally comes to mind are classically inspired–almost painterly–uncluttered images with a pleasant, soft or out of focus background. Needless to say, this is in stark contrast to the chaotic and tumbling beauty of street photography. Yet, even contemporary street portraiture has been reduced to headshots with a long lens, the results being more about headshots than something that illustrates the personality of the individual. Much of this can been found in the plethora of “Humans of…” street projects all over the web. And there’s nothing wrong with that approach, but I find it a useful challenge to take to the streets with a short lens like a 28mm or even 24mm and look for impromptu opportunities to strike up conversations and capture not just the person, but the surrounding environment as well–a narrative, if you will! Although such wide lenses force you to get that much closer to your subject to fill the frame, and therefore resulting in more barreling due to the inherent complex distortion, used carefully, you can create some compelling images–sometimes leaving the viewer to inquire more about what happened just after the shot was taken.

Below are several photographs taken with both the 28mm and 24mm lenses. Some more candid than others. Several photos include quotes stemming from my conversations with those I photographed. What lead to them, I leave that for you to decipher.

"I used to model for Esquire Magazine!" 24mm

“I used to model for Esquire Magazine!” 24mm

"If you're going to take my picture,a t least let me do a sexy pose for you!" 24mm

“If you’re going to take my picture, at least let me do a sexy pose for you!” 24mm.

Father and Daughter. 28mm

Father and Daughter. 28mm.

Drum Circle. 24mm lens

Drum Circle. 24mm.

Visting from Wisconsin. 28mm

Visiting from Wisconsin. 28mm.

All images © Joe Longobardi. All Rights Reserved.

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