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Character Portrait: A Narrative Character Portrait by Devon Bartlett (2015)

My character is a businessman who spends all his time on work. He lives alone in an apartment and is not very close with his family. He is a lonely man and because of that he consumes himself with his work. He has a stressful, high level job and therefore can have a short temper. In this photograph my character sits looking at one of his tables covered in papers and receipts. He has a cup of coffee, as always, sitting on his desk. He is frustrated in the current moment of the photograph. Even when not at work my character wears business casual attire.

The first thing I did to capture this shot was set up everything I needed, for example arranging my props so they would look how I wanted. One thing I wanted was for the table to look cluttered. Each prop I chose represents something, for example the papers represent my characters constant work. The reason they are all a mess is to show that he is so busy he barely has time to organize. The coffee cup shows that he works a lot, often late into the night and early in the morning so he needs coffee to stay awake. The phone shows my character's absent social life outside of work, there is nothing on the screen because he does not have many friends. One problem I encountered was figuring out the lighting. I had some trouble partially because the lights were not working, but also trying to figure out what angles to have the lights at to set the mood for my shot. I fixed this problem by experimenting with different shots. Another problem I had was figuring out what my character should be wearing to give the right feel to my shot. I fixed this by dressing them in business casual wear. After selecting which shot I was going to use, I took it into Photoshop where I cropped it and applied a vignette.
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