Inspiration of Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey high school portraits consists of each subjects to make eye contact with camera. Each of the subjects are centered, therefore our eyes don’t wander and just stay focused on the subjects. The photographs have a certain aesthetic feel to them that are very appealing to the eye, they have a soft look to it, as if a filter was added but I doubt it. The background seem to have a pale colour which contrasts the foreground (subjects) who have a  colours that have a pop. Each subject has a story to tell whether it is a serious one or maybe a funny one that would put a smirk on your face. Bey kept the images tightly cropped where either their whole bodies were showing or it was shot from waist and above. Bey analyzed each of their clothing and placed them in a part of the classroom that complemented their clothing. Bey’s photographic technique is the type of technique that appeals the most to me, I enjoy the aesthetic of it and the way the subjects are set up in the photographs really makes the images seem alive and full of emotion.

One thought on “Inspiration of Dawoud Bey

  1. rmichals

    Bey’s portraits look very natural but in fact he controls everything in the image. As you point out, he always has the subject look at the camera and he crops fairly tightly adding an intimacy between us and his subjects.

    Is the softness you note shallow depth of field that throws the background out of focus?


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