As far as I could tell and in any sense of the word, I was photographing a human born as a woman. Surgery, hormone treatment, and all the social feminizing elements (hair, nails, make up, clothing) were incredibly effective. She told me a story: when she was a child, she liked to play with girls’ toys and dress up like a girl. Her parents decided to help her with the reassignment surgery when she was 17. That’s some pretty conscientious parents; parents that are in tune with who their child is.
I should state right out that I’m not really a portrait photographer. Actually, what I mean to say is that I don’t think I’m a very good portrait photographer yet. I can’t pull off something like the Henry Rollins Portrait I posted last week. However, I’m working on it, and this shoot would have been easier if I had all my studio gear here that’s currently in the USA.I’m typically a black and white photographer; it just fits my sensibilities. So, I processed these in that manner. However, I’m really a huge fan of the green-blue-gray color that is in the background in the color images. It wasn’t what I set out to do, as I only have two small LED lamps and a tiny softbox whilst traveling. However, it all fell into place, especially as it contrasts well with the dead-on reproduction of her skin tone. I did make quite a few mistakes and almost all them had to do with not having a systematic method of preparing to shoot portraits. First and foremost I should have asked her to come wearing minimal or no make up and then have her apply it here. And! I forgot to have her bring a hair brush. Classic newbie mistake (it is ok in the third shot, but the first two some wild hair is a problem). I also have to learn to take my time and really make sure I’m happy with the shots as I am taking them. I like what we did together, but I can see a bunch of simple things I would have done differently if I had just slowed down.