Yesterday I had the opportunity of photographing my long time family friend T.J. I saw him recently in my gym and learned that he was leaving soon to join the Navy. I've always wanted to make a portrait of someone with an incredible beard and he fit the bill! Not only were we able to catch up but I learned about the process he had to go through to apply for the Navy. He has been preparing for six months! However, I know his passion and persistence for this task will not go unrewarded.
Below you will find the path that i've taken in order to achieve the final image (bottom).
These were some of the unedited images I captured. I wasn't a big fan of the lighting in any of them. They were just very flat and uninteresting. I felt like they didn't really capture who T.J. was.
The tattoo on the back is "Warrior" written in Japanese Kanji. He worked with my grandpa to make sure the characters were correct.
I decided to use this as the final portrait because his gesture is the strongest in this image. With his head tilted down ever-so-slightly it gives off a message of extreme focus. Simply from our conversations, I was able to learn a little bit more about who he was and I saw how set he is on accomplishing his goal. I really wanted to show how driven he was to accomplish this goal through a photograph. I believe I captured it in this image.