After seeing Dawoud Bey class pictures, I have noticed some robust features in his work that have stood out to me. The way Dawoud Bey uses the lighting and foreground-background to make the subject stand out. In his portrait, the subject is the primary focus, and each subject has a different expression. For example in one of his photographer, he uses the young girl (Lauren) to portrait as someone who is hopeful and thankful. Her appearance matches well with the captions; it captures a girl whose grateful to her parents and who has a bright future. Bey’s Shalanta portraits capture a young girl whose strong and confident. The reason why Shalanta portraits this way is because of her facial expressions, her smile. Her hands crossed under her chin, and the smile shows someone whose willing to take on the world. It portrays someone who knows what she wants in life. Bey’s portraits have different subjects, each subject posing differently. The facial expression on his subject plays a significant role you get to feel and see the theme each subject is feeling. The subject expression defines who they are; you feel their hope and ideas. Their pose expresses their thoughts and emotions. In Bey’s portraits, the background plays a role as well. We see that they are students and they’re the future. The lighting used on the subjects make each subject proud and confident. When it comes to portraits photography, I lack in that area. I don’t often show my ideas. The ideas I got from Bey’s photography is to use lighting and foreground-background.
Dawoud Bey did portrait of high school students in their schools. His characterization in portrait style is framework and hand poses to focus. Every picture of students is eye contact with camara. He used students personal life to portray their personality. act image he is trying to different emotions of students through facial expressions and blurring the background image. He uses soft light on the face to have real environment. There is a lot going on in the background of each image as in student’s lives but to have focus the background is blurred. Th hands of each portrait work perfectly in order achieve the story of the portrait. I do like his work of portrait it’s amazing to tell a story of students.
In a short response to this work (300 words min), characterize his portrait style. How does he use expression, pose, framing, light, and foreground background relationships to create these sympathetic portraits of young people? What ideas did you get about how you might approach today’s in-class shoot from looking at this work?
Dawoud Bey is an American photographer who takes portraits to students. He uses lots of technique that makes the photographs appealing. He uses expressions, poses, framing, light, out of focus background, relationship of foreground and background, and the use of soft colors. For each student, Dawoud Bey uses a different expression to get the attention of the viewers. Bey combine the expression with the pose to make the photo unique, and reads as one composition. Framing is also very important in his photography; he makes the subject look straight at your eyes. Most of the time, he uses the rules of thirds; placing the main subject on the side, not in the center of the photograph. Light is also another technique that Bey uses. He makes the light reflect as natural light. Also he uses busy background but you cant tell is busy because of the out of focus.
In today’s class I might ask the person how you feel today, and depending on their feelings, I asked him/her to pose in a certain way. Definitely I will use Dawoud Bey techniques to enhanced my photography.
Dawoud Bey uses serious expressions in his photographs of the high school students. They all have eye contact, his photographs of the students is based on their personal lives on their stories and who they are or what they have been through. the lighting of his photos are focused on the face not harsh but just right for this series. The background is out of focus and which makes the students in the foreground more in focus. Like you can see their stories in their eyes there face is serious but their eyes is talking. The ideas that I got were not a lot but some ideas were the person would be siting on the floor and looking at the camera with a serious face, or sitting on a chair with eye contact but with a smirk on their face.
Dawoud Bey’s portrait style can be categorized as Environmental Portrait photography. Dawoud Bey uses natural lighting than is in the area of the image being taken. Instead of using forced lighting he adjusts to the specific person he is shooting. Ultimately the image that Dawoud is trying to convey is each person’s life story. The emotion in their eyes tells a person what they have been through and what they are trying to accomplish in their life. Some stories are more harder than others but at the end of the day everyone is trying to do better no matter the struggle they had. In my photoshoot, I will try to convey the same theory of making it in life and using the correct facial expressions and gestures to get an amazing picture that tells a story.
The way that children look straight forward to the camera makes the expression more realistic on the picture. He took medium shots and the way he blurred the background, bring forward the person. He did a very good job on framing, because nothing becomes lost on the picture and the make the viewer to focus in the middle. I see that he is really successful to control and manipulate light correctly in order to get the best texture, and the vibrancy of color.
Dawoud Bey, has an exceptional use of lighting and creating the scene for his models which were high school student. The way he uses his models to make his vision become a reality is by using what the models already has to offer. Dawoud, makes absolutely sure that the lighting of the subject face isn’t completely harsh and that it has an almost naturally look to it, given the fact that the natural feature each subject has is brought to light. He, also tries to incorporate their hand gestures to further enhance their poses and facial features to make it someone more intriguing. I see that simplicity goes a long way in photography and I personally can relate to his style because we have a somewhat complementary taste in photo, but i’m more into black and white photos. What I also see in his work is how each subject more in focused than, the background and their eyes immediately gazes into the camera which makes it that much more intimate for the viewer looking this photography.
Todays, class I will be using this inspiration to replicate his work while also incorporating my style in the photoshoot session. My subjects will use their eyes as a way to make it special feeling when viewer look at my piece.
Dawoud Bey’s photography project was really unique. He has done something really unique. Throughout his photographs he has portrayed the minor groups of our society but I can’t help but recognize how bias the was. His portraits includes children of color and their stories are some stereotypical stories that you’ll find in most of the colored people in that group. Even though the project started of as a very unique project, it took a very drastic turn and became cliche very fast. I feel like the project would’ve been much more unbiased if he photographed middle classes families of all color and race and break out of the cliche and stereotypical stories.
Dawoud Bey photographed high school students in their schools for his series Class Pictures. In a short response to this work (300 words min), characterize his portrait style. How does he use expression, pose, framing, light, and foreground background relationships to create these sympathetic portraits of young people? What ideas did you get about how you might approach today’s in-class shoot from looking at this work?
View a selection of Class Pictures:
and the interview with Dawoud Bey about creating this work: