03 Jul Hudson NY, Author Portrait | Jen Beagin for Chronogram Magazine
When I reached out to Jen Beagin for her portrait, she told me she was up in Hudson NY and then asked if I would mind coming up to her. I normally love to shoot on location so this was good with me. She also described her space as photogenic, which at the time I recall thinking that’s an interesting way to describe her home, but ok, Im game. After reading the profile written by Jennifer Gutman I see that Jen is a photographer so that explains her visual description.
Portraiture is an interesting thing. In my work I am supposed to capture the person but most often the subject is more interesting when placed in context of an environment. Giving the space equal or at least a very supporting role in the image is a big part of what I do. Anyway I digress, back to the lovely Jen Beagin.
After Google takes me around the property several times I find myself in front a farm house in Hudson NY. Jen greets me looking great in all linen white. She shows me inside to her room and I am immediately struck by the textures and softness the room exudes. Bare and worn plaster with faded paint and old wood floors complete the feel. Jen was right, the house is very photogenic. So I quickly decide on the this room where she writes to set up the first portrait. Jen is very striking in person and on camera, clearly she has been photographed and she exudes a cool rocker calmness. We shoot a few frames with her sitting on an old chair, which I like but we move on to the wall by the window which I like even more. The shot came together in minutes, seriously. Ok I have my shot and for all intents we are done. Jen asks me if I want to go check out the donkeys in the back yard. Why not? We go out back and I get introduced to the donkeys, who are very friendly. So I ask Jen to sit down and the donkeys relax around her. I shot maybe 20-30 frames and I got this shot as well. I’m not kidding when I say this shoot happened all in the window of 20 minutes, took me longer to drive there from Woodstock than to actually shoot.
Back in the office I started my processing and editing of the images and the first room shots just begged to be in color, the outside portraits though looked really great in a toned black and white. So I processed them as such and was so happy when I saw that the David the art director chose the black and white for the leading image.
Jen thank you so much, it was a great pleasure working with you. And as always, thank you so much Chronogram. Go check out the article in this month’s issue.