Monday, July 15, 2019

Master photographer at work | Story behind the iconic Steve Jobs portrait

We all remember the iconic photograph of Steve Jobs where he is just looking straight at you. There is an intense expression which is shot against a clean white backdrop. Given how long some of this photo session can get, especially to get this kind of portrait, it is remarkable how fast this portrait was made. In the video below you see a master explain his work. Albert Watson who made this portrait describes his thought process and explains how he created the iconic photograph.

If you look at the photograph the expression is priceless which would give you the illusion that Jobs was great at posing and giving expression. While this may have been true, it is also true that Jobs did not like being photographed.

This makes this photograph even more compelling as a study. While we see the expression what we don't see is the master photographer who put Jobs in that state of mind to evoke that expression out of him. This is one of the most important parts of a portrait photograph "Emotion". Albert Watson gave Steve Jobs simple instructions before the shoot. Not only is Albert great at posting but also has mastery of light. There is a common joke among portrait photographers that in addition photographers, they are part psychologist and part director. All this and much more can be seen in this video below. The best part about this is he finished it in less than the time Jobs was scheduled for the portrait!

What did you notice from this video? Share your thoughts and comments below.