COM 364 Assignment: Compelling Portraiture



Twie Souvannavong, 22, doodles on a piece of paper surrounded by a fraction of his massive pen collection at his home in Wallingford in Seattle, WA. on Dec. 3, 2017. Souvannavong can often be seen drawing doodles or larger sketches or shopping for drawing pens at art supplies stores. “I’ve been interested in it [drawing]. I took a few classes when I was younger. It’s fun,” he said. In comparing his drawing to his outlook on life, Souvannavong said: “I’m not someone who thinks in black and life. I’m not about that dichotomy life. I see life in shades of grey; there’s always a different tone.” Regardless, Souvannavong says that his pen collection might be excessive. “I have an addiction to buying pens, even if I don’t need them. I go to the art shop every single day and sometimes just look at the pens and then just walk out,” he said. 

Reflection: It was slightly difficult working with the subject on this assignment. They were tired, as they had just gotten off work, and the lighting in the house that we were shooting in was not the best. However, it was definitely an interesting exercise in exploring a subject’s identity with visual representation and engaging and implementing their own ideas. It took a little bit, but once we got going, he was throwing ideas around despite being tired from work. We tried some meta-type shots (i.e. Twie taking a selfie amongst his pen collection while I photographed him), but in the end, I chose this shot because it portrays the sense serenity Twie showcases while drawing. If I could do something differently I would have tried to schedule the shoot for sometime during the daylight hours when we had a longer stint to work on the project and when Twie wasn’t tired from work. We could have spent longer developing ideas for the image and how Twie wanted to represent himself.

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