Since I have a keen interest in dramatic portraits, I'm always exploring new techniques for creating them. In particular, I'm always looking for new ways to show character, which is often a euphemism for not flattering (in dramatic portraiture, you commonly hear that everyone except the subject loves the result). So, to try some new approaches to this, I needed a model who already knows he's not exactly eye-candy. That way, my dramatic, facial-lines-enhancing, age-exaggerating image hopefully wouldn't insult him .
Another part of my purpose was to gain experience with some new lighting equipment. To this end, I decided to play with high key lighting (that means bright background, diffuse with almost-but-not-quite blown out highlights, and often, reduced overall contrast). For more character depth (no pun intended) I wanted to shoot a technical diver because you don't see many high key shots of tec divers. So to pull this off, my model would also have to be someone willing to tolerate sweltering out a quart of sweat while standing around in 80 pounds of scuba kit and a hot dry suit for the 45 minutes I needed for the shot.
Dilemma: Where could I find a tec diver model who is this ugly and who lacks the mental capacity to refuse?
It's a self portrait.
My wife says it makes me look 10 years older and not one bit handsomer or smarter.