Consider this, men generally shy away from the camera, most households have numerous portraits of wives and children adorning the walls and perhaps even a group family shot, but it is rare that “the man of the house” takes pride of place upon the living room wall.
A man can work an entire lifetime, father a generation, provide love and stability, be a pillar of society and yet rarely are there any quality images of him to attest of his life and achievements.
Worse still we find that when men pass on and the family start the inevitable search for images of their beloved father, husband, or grandfather there is almost nothing to hold on to.
In the past the approach to male portraiture was typically the studio cookie cutter shot, the guy gets dressed up in a suit he would never wear, is propped up in front of some painted backdrop and ends up looking like the CEO of some fake American company he has never heard of.
We can do better!
A man's portrait should capture not just just his likeness, but his style, his passion and most of all his character.
Family and friends should be able to look at the portrait hanging upon the wall and instantly recognise the true spirit of the man in the image, it should invoke an instant heartfelt response.
So how can we achieve this. First of all, a man needs to be captured in a way that is related to his life and passion. He may be a super keen motorcyclist, a powerful business figure, an artist, musician, sporting hero, a very clever tradesman.
Whatever it is that defines his life and character, it should be incorporated within the portrait, this is what will truly invoke those most treasured memories and responses.
Beyond the theme, a man needs to be captured in a pose and with an expression that truly speaks of his mind and form, this can only be done with the photographer taking the time to analyze the subject (in an informal way of course).
All of the above then needs to be captured with lighting that is character illuminating and artistically complimentary.
Of course the capture must be utterly technically perfect, with focus placed at just the right point, with high resolution capture that can draw the features, texture and facial form perfectly.
And all of this must be backed up with perfect post capture editing and fine art printing techniques.
The final result, a portrait that will become a treasured family heirloom.