Perhaps no form of photography is as fascinating as portraiture. To capture an image of someone or a group of people, still, in a moment of time, is very special. Axel began his career by photographing people. His career in high end professional photography began when one of his images was selected to be in a biennial exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. From there, he was hired into a major professional camera company, and asked to shoot jobs–usually involving people.
A very early portrait, ca. 1975, by Michael Axel, of a Portland, Oregon
homeless man, was selected to be displayed in the Portland Art Museum.
Another early portrait of a friend from about the same vintage.
Another portrait of a friend, ca. 1984.
Family portrait with simple lighting and background.
This image really focuses on the sweet faces of the kids
in this family, and no attempt to capture the surroundings.
A special family chair represents a recently lost family member
in this image, and prompted the family to stop procrastinating
about getting a portrait taken.
Upon reviewing the images taken, this family realized, after
seeing their dog wandering into one of the shots, that they
should have included him in the portrait. Even though not
prominent, this photo, with the dog’s butt, was the final
selection and favorite of the family.
An ethereal shot of the family in natural surroundings near
their home on the river.
A candid shot of a friend. The pose and composition was
natural, but an example of the simplicity and beauty of
a spontaneous image.
A band poses in a theater like one they would perform in.
Axel turned on the spotlight in the background to send some
light back through the shot to give it some flare.
Another theater shot, with a slow shutter speed to capture
the motion of the dancer in an attempt to give her image
sort of a Degas feeling.
A simple corporate or headshot type image, this one
of Axel, who also sings opera.
A classic image of this well known artist. The lighting is
simple but balanced, and the use of an extraordinary lens
shows the difference between amateur cameras and lenses,
and high end professional cameras used by Axel.
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