These aren't the kind of images I make to generate money or business. I like them because they are quiet and fun for me to look at. It's easier for me to imagine them as art on the wall than portraits, which in most cases are too personal or two direct to be good, long term art for display.
I think portraits work best in book and magazine form. The exception is family portraits displayed in the context of the family home. But even there a portrait that is as much about art as it is about paying homage to the family member doesn't wear well. We can look past mediocre technique to the naive display of a cute expression and of happy moments but when we attempt to elevate the portrait of a family member to fine art the weight of the exercise seems to embue the presentation with a level of pretention that cripples the enjoyment of the representation.
In this regard I believe that we want our portraits to fall into a set of boundaries that includes lighting formulas and variations on basic poses. This allow the portrait created for posterity to gain a timelessness that attempting to overlay fashion or current editorial styles of portraiture rarely achieves.
While none of the work above passes muster to go up on the walls each of the images engages me for reasons having to do more with design, color and forced angles than timeless contextual value. These are all things which we find engaging in and of themselves. Many of the images we take are never intended as fine art or even survivable art. Like a pianist or guitarist who practices scales we are practicing our own visual scales and doing our exercises in spatial and tonal problem solving under relaxed conditions. If we practice well we can bring the understanding of design and color to our more serious work.
I included the final image because the building somehow makes me nostalgia for a time in the past when buildings were built on a very human scale in Austin, in particular, and Texas in general. This building, which now houses an ad agency, represents the accessible style of the late 1950's and 1960's. Even the scale of the windows and offices seems more welcoming than the sterile and efficient architecture I see in so many of the newer buildings. That alone makes the image interesting to me.