This melancholy portrait, taken for an album launch, gets a look-at for the next photo in our series. Find out why.
Some moments just happen, and if you’re lucky enough you’re there to capture them. But some moments you have to make, as is the case with Emily Dennison’s portrait of musician Liz Green for Green’s new album, Haul Away (which is now available to download). A balance of craft, colour and composition, our photo of the month for August gets to the soul of the subject and, in a way, shows something just as true as any snatched documentary shot.
The picture has a certain detachment, with Green’s averted gaze drawing you in. It’s a melancholy moment that captures her music’s rainy day remembrances. Her fair skin is contrasted by the wonderful, resonant blue of her jacket, while the solitary tear is a brilliant illusory flourish. “I love collaborating with creative people, expanding on ideas and working together,” says Dennison. This is an approach that’s clear here, where Dennison’s handmade cotton-wool clouds blend together with Green’s ideas on clothing and makeup.
It’s a melancholy moment that captures her music’s rainy day remembrances
The masterstroke here, however, is the framing force of the clouds, with their satisfyingly thick string giving them a deliberately crafted feel. “I’m a child of Blue Peter programs: I love making things,” says Dennison, explaining a choice that echoes a Michel Gondry film. Dennison doesn’t just do portraits; much of the photography on her website is based in the food industry, working with local producers like Claire Kelsey (founder of Ginger’s Comfort Emporium) on food books. “It’s probably an 80-20 split between food and music, but I find they run in tandem together really well,” says Dennison. “It’s just a shame that the music industry has been decimated by people expecting things for free, which means record companies have much less to spend on things like photographs.”
Whether it is food or music she is shooting though, Dennison finds that the challenges and rewards remain the same. “Photography is all about problem solving, which is what I love… no matter how much you plan you never know what’s going to happen.”