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Yay!  They’re back!  The Photo of the Week was on a bit of a hiatus while I wrapped up the Japan posts, but I now welcome them back with open arms.

I’ve already shared this particular photo on my Facebook and Instagram pages, but when looking over the past week, I kept coming back to this one.  I love it too much to not feature it here.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

This is a picture of Troy Baker during an acoustic performance at Newcon PDX.  He is known for his voice acting in video games, but he is also an aspiring musician.

I love this picture for several reasons.

First, I have a soft spot for event photography, especially conventions (like my home con, Kumoricon), because they afford so many candid opportunities – those real moments people simply can’t fake.  Like this one.  Troy is so genuine in this shot.  He isn’t bored or tired (well, he might have been, but you never would have known).  He is completely in the moment.

I also liked this angle.  I was shooting more from the side of the small stage to get some of the lights behind him; I was experimenting with the flares (and I wound up with some cool shots doing so).  This profile gave a different perspective than the typically seen audience view.

I deliberately shot through the excess mic stands and chords.  I sometimes prefer to include some foreground items to add depth.  I felt the additional lines give you something more to look at, while framing Troy and ultimately bringing your attention to his face.

Somewhat recently (within the last year or so), I decided straight horizons can make for some very dull shots.  As a result, I went wild, tilting my camera.  Occasionally, I do this on too many pictures (like everything, it is an effect that should not be overdone), but most of the time, I believe it adds more character and makes the shots more impactful.

Finally, this picture was stunning in color.  But I love it even more in black and white.  I don’t have any particular rule I live by that tells me when to convert a photo to monochrome; sometimes, I just push the button, and, “ooh..”

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Beyond the photo itself, Troy just had such a huge impact on my weekend.  Going in, I didn’t even know who he was.  But when his Q&A panel turned into an hour-long inspiration session (“What is your legacy?”), I knew someone else had touched my life in a way I’d never forget.  He was so down-to-earth and real, as only someone who has just had a life wake-up call would be.  This concert rounded it out; he sang a song he wrote for his grandfather – who died before he got to hear it – and I was overwhelmed by the shear raw emotion in the room.

As I have mentioned previously, I sometimes find it difficult to segregate a technically good photo from the event and memories it represents.  I feel this picture scores highly in both categories.

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