Craig: A Narrative Character Portrait by Katherine Dillon (2015)
The character in my portrait is the character, Craig from my narrative story. Craig lives very boring life and has a mean boss. He lives in fear and goes through his life reliving a boring routine every day working at a regular desk job. However, Craig has a secret life as a performer on a train. Every night, he boards a train that both literally and metaphorically takes him away from his everyday life. This second side of him gives him an opportunity to live as a wild and interesting performer instead of a boring office worker. In my portrait, I chose to represent Craig as he leaves his dull life behind and embraces his creative side as a performer. In this moment that I capture, Craig has thrown his business suit across a chair in the background and he has transformed into a juggler.
A lot of thought went into the technical aspect of this portrait. I decided to use only two lights: one to shine on the subject, and the backlight to light up the background and to give the subject depth. I decided to do this because I wanted very harsh and severe shadows across my subject's face to show his inner conflict between his everyday life and his life as a performer. I decided to go against the rules of thirds and place my subject in the center of the frame for two reasons. First, I wanted the focus to be completely on the subject to show that his life is split into two equal halves: day and night, office and train. Secondly, I wanted to represent both sides of Craig's life equally on either side of him. I did this by centering Craig in the frame and placing the chair with the suit on one side of him. I left the other side free of props because I wanted to give a feeling that Craig's train life is unknown and personal.