Category Archives: Dawoud Bey


Ok! For me, I like Yousef Karsh picture and style more then Nadav Kandar but both of them are super amazing at photography and has so many amazing pictures. First Yousef Karsef who is an Armenian-Canadian photographer known for his portraits of notable individuals. He has been described as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 20th century. For me, he inspires me to take more portrait, especially in black and white. I am not fun of black and white picture because to me when I see the black and white picture I always having the same feeling of the photo which is “sad”. I feel like that not right to me because photo should make us feel and tell more than that. When I look at Karsh portrait it’s all black and white which is cool because that is his style and theme also, every picture of his has different feel and story behind it and that amazing how he is making the viewer feel it. Also, most of his picture he used studio light like broad and short lighting.

Nadav Kander likes to try all kind of style not just one like Karsh. So Kandar is a London-based photographer, artist and director, known for his portraiture and landscapes. Kander has produced several books. He has so many styles and looks more modern. I like his work on Titans of the Stage because every picture has a strong visual and amazing story behind it also really powerful

I like this picture because when looking at it from far you see a guy who is in a really bad mood and lost hop and looking in the praying for god. But when you come close to it you will see him look at you with a really scary way. It’s amazing one minute I feel bad for then right when I see close it's scared me. Also, the lighting style helps the mood a lot

Dawoud Bey – Antone Herbert

Dawoud Bey’s portrait style comprises multiple elements. In most of his photos he frames his subject with their lower torso up. Bey never cuts off their heads, leaving a decent amount of headspace. The background is blurred indicating the use of a low aperture. This leaves the subject to stand out well from the background and become the main focus or the photo. The backgrounds are all different. All the students eyes are captivating. Bey’s subjects are always well lit with what I would think is front or butterfly artificial lighting. I interpret that all the students seem guarded in there photos. Their arms and hands suggest as they are in front and always seems to be “protecting” themselves from the photographer. Most of the students did not smile except for one girl. 

Im not sure how I would approach portrait photography after looking at his photos. But these set of photos inspired me because they are the type of style I strive to create when I’m doing portraits. They evoke emotion and realism. You feel like you’ve met the students and I want my photos to feel that way. Often times I worry too much about backgrounds and not enough about my subject. Bey uses a variety of backgrounds in schools, a place I imagine most people wouldn’t find all that photogenic. I want to learn to pose people like Bey can. I want to learn how to create a unified style throughout multiple portraits that evoke the same emotions. Bey’s photos teaches me that subjects you wouldn’t find interesting you can make interesting by crafting masterful portraits.

Inspiration #1 – Dawoud Bey

Bey uses the expression and pose to show what these high schoolers have been through. For example, in the photograph with Shalanta, you see this girl who’s smiling and posing with a confidant look. It demonstrates that she is an outgoing girl who enjoys having fun and being around other people, which reaffirmed in the brief description next to the image. Another out example would be with Kevin, the pose he has give a sense of “up in your face” kind of look, possibly showing independence. The tone of his expression has a very serious look to it, giving off maturity, independence, and a loss of innocence. The lighting he uses is available light, which comes from the windows. The natural window light really lights up the room just enough and nicely, giving the feel of a somewhat calming vibe to photographs. From what I can tell, it looks like all if not all his shots seem to be broad light, like the portraits of Usha and Antoine. The background of the photos are set in a classroom area, I believe that this is meant to make the teens appear more sympathetic because it would remind the viewer that these are still young teenagers, hardly grown but have been through a lot or show how ambitious they are. It’s to basically remind people that these teens are still human beings, and not some self-entitled children who believe they deserve something. The way he frames the portraits is up close, you can see the expressions of the teens, the gestures and poses their upper bodies are in, and parts of the background. To me the reason why he frames it like this is because you get in depth look at the teenagers, to interpret their personalities, what they could have been through, and where they were during the shoot. Well lighting is something to consider, that can enhance the look and feel of the portrait. As well as the poses and expression of the model. I can take those into consideration when taking a portrait shot of someone.

Dawoud Bey HW1

Dawoud Bey is a very interesting photographer in my opinion. The reason being is that, in photography or in video we are told that the person of interest shouldn’t look directly to the camera nor should be faced directly. Mr. Bey has a certain photography style, he has his target look directly to the camera, a bold move. His person of interest in the photos I’ve seen was children, teens. I believe he did this to grasp their image, their individuality, An example of this can be seen in the link provided, Lauren ..  a young and sweet girl is what I grasp of this image, shes timid and she has the whole world in front of her. Another fine example is Charles, he’s a stunning young man with eyes that speak for them self, from this face photographed, I get a sense of boldness and a sense that this young man isn’t afraid to speak his mind. These were my first thoughts as I skimmed through their photographs, then after I made evaluations I read through the small descriptions provided and leaned that the photo matched the description perfectly. Mr. Bey has a way with the camera in that one can find another persons individual characteristics through his photos.

Dawoud Bey

As I was looking at Dawoud Bey portraits, I realized that most of the portraits that he took the person are looking straight at the camera and the same time all of them has an expression and a pose. Which gives this story behind and it sends this mysterious message to the viewer. I also realized the light in these portraits is coming across from the classroom windows which works well because gives this natural and calm feeling from the person. I also like how he framed taking these portraits, I noticed that his portraits are from chest to head and he does not fill the whole frame, he leaves some space from each side. The foreground-background works very well with these portraits because it shows the environment that these people are at and like I said these are students. Looking at his work I got some ideas of how to approach taking portraits, for example, giving a person a pose and ask them how they truly feel which they would naturally make a gesture and an expression. Also what environment is well to take this portraits.