Portraiture is so much more than just taking someone's photo. It's a way to tell their story and I try to treat it as such. We tend to think of photography as a two-dimensional media, but there can be a great amount of depth in a photo. It can be felt through the sense of emotion portrayed by the subject with a look or pose. Or it can be more literal, through the incorporation of the subjects environment, creating layers in the scene. The latter is something I enjoy playing with. Incorporating a scene into the image can be like writing a story. A photographer, just as a writer, chooses the setting, the time of day, the angles and so on. And everything works to create a narrative. Being able to share that narrative is something very special to me as a photographer.
The photo below is a portrait I took of Bill. He built his own house and the workshop where this was photo was taken. He hunts and does his own taxidermy. And he is restoring a Ford Model T. Being independent and self-sufficient is a way of life for him. And one that is becoming more rare in an age where everything is made to be as easy and accessible as possible. Having him hold the wrench and including the deer and tool bench in the background, all helps to paint a more complete picture. So don't forget to look past your subject. Look at what surrounds them. It might just be as important as the person you came to photograph.