The "My Favorite Bike" Portrait Series started when I bought the blue background. I wanted to photograph cyclists with their favorite bikes and the background became the uniting theme. As the series grew I decided I wanted to add more depth and personality to the portraits by photographing people in the space where they store their bikes. The project evolved into environmental portraits and I really like the new direction. I've found that people are more relaxed, more confident and less guarded and I’m connecting with them even more. It’s much more personal and interesting for the subjects, the viewer and for me.
WHAT I WEAR TO WORK
The inspiration for this series came from observing the interesting and unique outfits that some people wear when they work. I decided to photograph everyone against the same background with standardized lighting so that their personality, pose and outfit would tell the story of what they do.
I always like to confirm my lighting set up and one way I do that is by having people hold a light meter or gray card for a couple of test photos. It helps me make adjustments to the images afterwards and I've also found that it helps people relax because it gives us a few minutes to talk.
The portraits show people in the relaxed and unguarded moments before we actually begin working when they're not so nervous and focused on the camera.
Cycling is my athletic passion and I've been riding bikes since I was 5. My first race was in 1986 shortly after I bought one of those new fangled Mountain Bikes that are so popular these days. Since then I've competed in dozens of mountain bike and road races and have even visited cycling mecca...the Tour de France...twice. I'm quite fond of endurance mountain bike races which are off road races that are generally over 50 miles.
All of this experience competing and riding an average of 5 days a week for years has given me great insight into the visual nuances of bike racing and allows me to create images that are unique and reveal the true spirit of the sport and the people involved.
I have a variety of cameras I use when I'm making photographs and some of my favorites are made of plastic like the Holga, Fuji Instax 200 and the Lomography Fisheye ll. The Holga uses 120 film the Fuji uses instant film and the Fisheye ll uses 35mm film.
I use these very unsophisticated cameras for a number of reasons. I like the freedom they afford me to be creative without having an attachment to the outcome. There's no worrying about white point, exposure compensation or even focusing. It's really quite liberating to just make pictures. I have an idea of what's on the film but it's only confirmed when I get the prints back from the lab.
Robert D. Jones Photography
Phone ~ 303-530-5533