I had more trepidation shooting this man whom I have known and looked up to since I was five years old, more than capturing celebrities on the red carpet. Why? Who knows. He’s one of the most kind and thoughtful human beings on the planet, and an icon in the Newton area to anyone who attended Oak Hill Elementary School. Simply put, Sam Turner, or “Mr. T” as I still call him, crafted an environment where faculty and kids were able to thrive, and in so doing, he instilled a lifetime of memories in thousands of us. For this I will be forever grateful. I could go on and on, but if I do, I’ll likely get a phone call. And nobody wants to get called by the Principal, especially not at 45 years old.
From a photographic standpoint (for all the lighting geeks out there) I kept things fairly simple with my Octa softbox directly above or off camera left. On all except the 1st and 4th shots I added 2 blue gel SB-800’s on either side behind him to add highlights. What I was attempting to do was capture the essence, create a mood and get a bit of personality from this man for whom I have so much respect.
In terms of formal portraiture, those who know me understand how I am virtually obsessed with capturing something “honest”, “truthful, and “real” … or I am simply not satisfied. These postures arrived organically for the most part, borne out of conversation with little direction from me behind the camera. If I were to step back I’m fairly certain I broke more than a few photographic “rules” with these shots, and probably for that reason I think I like them even more. Listening to my gut and being true to myself are two very important lessons I learned at an early age. In fact, I learned them from a charismatic Principal I once had in Newton…at the Oak Hill School…
Thanks for everything Mr. T.