Contender: Haven Hartman

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Copyright © Haven Hartman

Haven Hartman

What's the story behind this portrait?
 I love Norman Rockwell, and always thought it would be fun to be a Norman Rockwell painting. So I made myself into one. I've always loved this painting. The girl's mischievous look and how proud she is to be sent to the principal's office. I always thought there must be quite the scandal involved in the story leading up to this image. Notice the "Etiquette" book I am holding. The devil is in the details!

Why do you like to shoot portraits?

I love connecting with people and telling a story. I think there is a similarity to great portraits and great self-portraits, as you're showing the audience a glimpse of reality, emotion and the soul. With a self-portrait I find I get to explore pieces of my persona, as opposed to showing everything at once. In this image, I think these two girls are a combination of what we were as children – ultimately good little girls, but with a troublemaker spirit. Truth be told, I hate having my picture taken, so there is something really nice about being able to take control of how my image is presented.

What do you think makes a great portrait?
Whose portrait work do you especially admire or feel influenced by? 
Diane Arbus. I love that she showed real people; people that might now otherwise have been shown.

Equipment used: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, Profoto strobes, soft box, tripod. The Norman Rockwell image was scanned high-resolution on a flatbed scanner, and my portrait was shot mirroring the lighting in the painting.


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