Times photographer favorites: Zack Wittman shares his top 6 photos from 2015
As a photojournalist, I spend most of my time at the mercy of the situation. I let the environment, the light and the subjects shape my pictures, and I only capture what happens in front of me. It's what I'm used to, and it's almost therapeutic to position myself and let things happen in front of me. Just hope for the best.
However, this isn't the case for portraiture. The average portrait scenario is just myself and the subject, and I'm the one who's in control. I decide where the shoot takes place, the lighting I want to use and how I want the subject to position themselves. It's always been the weakest link in my portfolio, because I tend to be nervous when it's my turn to take control. When the photographer becomes nervous, the subject becomes nervous as well, this almost always leads to bad portraiture. I've learned the key to portraits is to allow myself to be completely calm and completely present in the moment.
Since I've been at The Times, my goal for 2015 and beyond has been to improve my portraiture and to teach myself to take control of a situation every once in a while.
Visit the Times image archive to license or purchase a reprint of these or any of our 2015 favorite images.