Hockey Portrait — Aaron Alkema
This photo was taken last year, but I will always consider it one of my favorite portraits I have done for The Post. I was working with a 16-35mm lens, one of the most used lenses in my bag, and I wanted to see what I could produce while using it. The shoot included shots of Aaron Alkema with and without his mask on. However, I felt the one with the mask on was more successful in its visual communication. With the full gear and mask on, it allows the eyes to remain the one true human element of the photo, considering his body is covered with gear. That also places a large importance on the success of that one element of the photo, however, I felt the look in his eyes was worth the photo.
I took this photo for a long format story on new bartenders in Athens, which was especially prevalent with the beginning of the new school year. It was a little bit of trial and error to find a new bartender whose schedule fit with mine and was willing to be photographed. Once the subject was secured, it was about trying to find a creative way to photograph the new bartender in the afternoon, when there isn’t anyone in the bars. After taking many static photos of her listening to the manager and learning about her new job description, I stood up on the stool and photographed an average moment in a different way.
Shooting the photo from above allowed me to clean up the background and not have much useless information there. It is very simple to “shoot at” a scene. As a visual journalist, one must understand, all the information in the photo, whether it is there intentionally or not, will either add to or take away from the photo. In this case, this vantage point was how I was able to pick out specific set of information that I wanted to share with my viewers.
Yvonne Yan international student photo
This portrait went along with a Post Modern piece, a longer-form story, for The Post. The story discussed the rift between American and International student relations at Ohio University. The initial idea that had been expressed to me by one of our photo editors was to take a photo with a large crowd, including elements of motion blur and other visual themes. The many ideas that were discussed were unsuccessful upon execution, which left me a little discouraged. However, as a photojournalist, it is always important to have multiple ideas to fall back on. In times when I am relying heavily on my first idea, sometimes the backup ideas I have tend to surprise me. There is a gap between our perception of what we can create and how the photo plays out in reality — in this case this error played into my favor. I was able to use a space I walk by every day on my way to class (in Schoonover Center), to my advantage. I am thankful for situations like these, it constantly reinforces the notion of changing perspective and having a full arsenal of creative ideas, which is important in this field of work.