Jaffa Fishermen

When I visited Israel, I wanted the opportunity to shoot portraits of folks that ordinarily weren't in the spotlight.  The awesome folks at Kinetis pulled some strings and got me access to the Fishermen of Jaffa Port, and from what I was told, these guys don't often if ever grant photographers permission to shoot there. Not only did I get the opportunity to shoot them, but they wrangled 20 fishermen for me.  The guys were surprisingly older than I'd imagined - some of them into their 80's.   Real salt-of-the-earth folks that have been fishing these waters for generations.

Once I started shooting, Sado, the union manager began wrangling fisherman for me in rapid succession.  I imagined I'd get the chance to shoot a couple guys and next thing I know I've got fishermen coming at me left and right.  I ended up shooting over 20 fishermen's portraits over the course of an hour and a half.  I realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I had make the most of it.  I had to slow my mentality and make sure that I was creating a cohesive body of work and decided early on that I would make a full-body photo and close-up photo of each of the men.  That way I could have a contextual portrait and one of their face.  

All of the images were shoot with natural light with a Canon 5DMKIII and 85mm f/1.2.  I positioned the men about 20' in from a large open garage bay door.  The light outside was very intense, but nicely diffused into the space and lit the men really well.  I shot pretty wide open because I wanted to blow out the background that was very busy.  

The guys were all good sports and I had a blast doing the shoot.  I felt honored to be in their space and wanted to respect the space and their tradition.  When my time was up, I was spent.  Directing and shooting over 20 subjects in a short time frame is intense.  Afterwards, we strolled down the boardwalk to a café and had a fantastic lunch.  I had the fish entree :)

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