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I’m falling increasingly in love with portrait sessions. A lot can be said about a great portrait session. If the photographer and the subject are on the same page the chances are the portrait session will end with some really great results. I recently had an experience like that with local comedian Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo contacted me through twitter about doing a portrait session with him that he could use for any upcoming comedy gigs he had. I had only met Rizzo one other time at a meeting of the Social Media Club Buffalo chapter, I think the main agenda of that meeting was a discussion about @theamherstbear…so it goes.
Rizzo wanted a portrait that would convey his comedy and his laid back style. One of the things we went back and forth on is whether to do the shoot on location or in a studio setting and I’m ver happy that we chose a location setting. I love the studio setting, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that I’ve been getting better and more consistant results with a studio portrait session, but something can be said about a good location.
We decided to head down to Rizzo’s comedy stomping grounds, Nietzsches Music Hall in the Allentown district. Allentown is such a great area for an on location portrait session because there’s such diversity in the landscape. On one hand you have vintage brick brownstones and on the other you have back alley walls covered with art and graffiti. The entire Allentown district is like a living breathing canvas of inspiration and oddness wrapped in a Jim’s Steak Out hoagie roll, thus it’s ideal for a portrait session.
Rizzo and I picked two areas of Allentown for his portrait, in front of Nietzsches and the wall of a corner store that had been painted as a mural. We did receive several tips from the local vagabonds though… “Take a photo by the trash cans, that’s urban,” and my particular favorite “have him sit on the fire hydrant, that’s artsy.” As any photographer tells you it’s always fun to get suggestions from the public when shooting on a location. I can’t say the portrait session was incredibly difficult. Being a comedian, Rizzo was able to entertain me like a dancing monkey while I set up lights and fired test shots. He has a great style of comedy and was very entertaining through the whole thing.