A Portrait Honoring a Friend – Iconic Image from Dokk Savage Photography

I stumbled upon this photo through a Facebook Group I belong to. Fearless and Framed doesn’t post a ton of portrait photos. We live and breathe documentary style photography here. However, the caption to this photo captivated me. This may not be considered a documentary photo, but Charlene’s reaction to the words of the photographer are very real, very honest. He documented her emotion perfectly. Dokk Savage shined in his ability to set up a classic portait and evoke emotion to let his client tell the story here. I also love the meaning behind the photo, which you will read below.

This image is a reminder that art is art and beauty is beauty, no matter how it is created. We don’t need to label every photo we create with a genre. So often I see photographers worrying if their images are Lifestyle OR Documentary. If they are Documentary, then maybe they shouldn’t include any portraits in their package (or so they sometimes believe). Or maybe that they shouldn’t talk at all during a session, so that they aren’t interfering with the session naturally unfolding. The stigma of how you “should” run your sessions is overrated.

The truth is, the only label that should be on your photos, is your name. A little bit of soft direction can make a world of difference in your photos to bring out a connection between the subject and you as the photographer. A little bit of silence can also tell a story that you may never have achieved by making yourself heard. Use your own judgement. Create.

 

What the photographer had to say about the photo:

“My client wanted to dedicate a image to her best who passed away last year. Everything she had on in the image represented her friend in some fashion. The chain around her neck belonged to her best friend. So, I just told her to relax and think about the times her friend made her smile. Charlene (my client), got emotional, but she stayed in character. It was an amazing shot and it was the first shot I edited from her session. ”

 

documenting emotion

Camera Data: 28mm 1/200 f/5.0 ISO 100

Dokk Savage Photography | Instagram | Twitter

About Rob J. Bankston (Dokk Savage):
“I’m a nationally published photographer that specializes in fashion and storytelling. My personal goal is to be consistent with craft and career by becoming a better photographer. I truly believe in my craft, so I am shooting for the stars. Business Marketing and Photography will carry my daughter through medical school. I’m claiming my victories. I run my business with my lady, Acolea Moore, Owner and Stylist of Couture Ties. I also have another business partner in Veronica Dennis of True Moment Images and Javan Cornelius of Shoeshine Media. Veronica has been the battery in my back that keeps me going behind the lens.  Javan films my photo sessions when he’s not on tour.  Acolea is my stylist for most sessions. She brings another level of energy and comfort for my clients. I work with great make up artists such as Loreal Jones, who took care of Charlene for the Iconic image. I also work with celebrity make up artist, Sylvia Smith, of ProMakeUpArtist Studios. There’s no “I” in team and I couldn’t make it without them. ” 
Author: MarieMasse

I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.


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  • Thank you so much for featuring my moment on your blog. I was very emotional but thinking about Temp (my best friend) always seems to put a smile on my face somehow. Dokk Savage was amazing during this shoot. He is an amazing photographer and all around person.

    • You are welcome! Your moment touched my heart and I think it was such a beautiful story behind the image. From one woman who’s lost a dear friend to another, this was such an incredible way to honor her!