Kojo was a model, a dancer and an actor. As such he had experience in front of the camera and was, something I can only describe as, very body aware; ie every movement, every pose, every expression was deliberate and exact. He gave a variety of expressions in the close up headshots and portraits while also offering movement and interest with his body and clothes in the wider 3/4s compositions.
I use two lenses when it comes to portraits and headshots, a 24- 70mm and also a 100mm macro. The first lens gives me, at the widest setting, images up to 3/4s of a person including torso and legs. The second lens gives me up close and personal images of a person’s head and shoulders. I normally keep to this formula as any movement by the subject, such as a head tilt or if they shift their body weight, usually removes them from my field of view and I then have to chase them and recompose. Also any closer than a head and shoulders composition with the lens, as it has a macro feature, means getting physically close to a subject which may be disconcerting for all parties involved. In this instance with Kojo I felt our communication during the shoot had gone smoothly enough for me to offer fractional elements of direction which I knew would be accurately completed by him to achieve a very close up portrait.
I request two hours for a dedicated portrait or headshot session; this gives me time to establish a relationship with the subject, set a baseline of their expressions and also assess how much, if any, direction is required when they are in front of my camera. At that stage I am slow and deliberate in order to maximise my chances of success in every frame. This session with Kojo Hammond the opposite; the time from the first to the last frame was an hour.