Turkey and Twisted


Date December 23, 2016

Turkey and Twisted

Just over a month ago I was invited to an expat Thanksgiving dinner in London by my friend Nancy. Having no idea what to expect, and with little time and/or cooking skills to truly contribute to the dinner, I did the sensible thing; I bought a cake and brought my photo gear.

As one does, right?

Setting up, I spotted a plain white wall, and decided to go for a super shallow depth of field, fast(ish) shutter speed, look and aim to make that white wall fall off to grey. Pro tip: Shutter speed controls how much ambient light is going to get in, the faster your shutter speed, the less ambient light, and thus, the white wall turns to grey.

A few shots of my hand later, I’d dialed my Fujinon 56mm down to f/1.2 with a neutral density filter slapped on the front, and flashes (Nikon SB-900 and 800, key and fill, respectively) set at minimal power, 128th, and we was ready to rock.

If memory serves, I managed to grab Stephanie first, and rope her in as my test subject. True to form, and this time I specifically did not announce it as a test shot, one of the first shots we did together came out flawless, and was one of her choices for the final edit.

Each of my subjects that evening received 2-3 headshots of their choosing, which they’re free to use for any social media, editorial, or author by-line shots.

The only thing I ask is that if these images are to be used in a commercial context, e.g. they, or a publisher is making (charging) money for content that features a work that I’ve produced, I don’t want to be cut out of the revenue stream. Fair enough, no? I think so. 🙂

However, what my subjects didn’t received is the collection of images presented here. Turkey and Twisted.

Going through each of these headshots, I was quite inspired by some of the looks and emotions that I got out of these individuals. I’m sure the free flowing wine had something to do with it, but I truly feel like I got to know each person I photographed that evening, if only a fraction, and for the few moments that we spent together.

They were honest and real with me. Some afraid, some eating the camera alive. All authentic.

So for this collection, I want to see beyond the headshot. Beyond the “this was written by Bla bla, image by Dan Taylor,” beyond the like button, beyond the film speed, aperture, and shutter speed.

I saw these headshots as gessoed canvas.

A starting point for me to pass the brush over.

Turkey and Twisted.

If you’d like to work with me, get in touch, or talk to me at @mountaindan.

Leave a Reply