This series represents a portion of an ongoing project that Los Angeles based photographer Bret Hartman been working on with the TED Fellows program for over 3 years.
The project started out as a personal project and has now become a dream project. Every year Bret takes headshots of the new TED Fellows and the current Senior Fellows during the TED conferences. These are always done on a white background to fit with TED’s style for their website.
The Fellows are gifted the use of these headshots when applying for grants, publishing articles or books, or anything else they may need them for. While Bret enjoys taking these portraits and was glad they served a purpose, he really saw a greater opportunity to do something more creative.
The TED Fellows are an incredible group who are all intelligent, interesting, and wonderful people that are changing the world with their ideas and the work that they do. Bret wanted to take their portraits beyond a white backdrop to something that better matched the amazingness of the people that were sitting in front of him. So, on top of photographing the headshots, Bret started shooting a creative setup for his portfolio. When the TED Fellows program started giving these out to the Fellows they were a huge hit! Many of the Fellows started using the photos from my creative setup rather than the headshots on white. To challenge himself, Bret shoots a different creative setup every year. Bret is truly grateful to the TED Fellows program for giving me support and creative license to pull off his different ideas every year.
This has been and incredible opportunity for him as a photographer, because it has allowed him to try different lighting techniques and staged setups, which has really helped shape his style. It has also given him a lot of experience working with and posing people that aren’t used to being in front of the camera.
About Bret Hartman
Los Angeles based portrait photographer Bret Hartman makes photographs of people that straddle the lines of cinema and classical painting. His lighting and attention to detail between the subject and their environment appears seamless and pushes the viewer to keep them engaged. Equally comfortable in the field as he is in studio settings, Bret introduces his subjects to their viewers in a signature style that is consistent in approach and quality. Bret has successfully taken his photo journalistic background and parlayed it into a rewarding editorial and commercial career. [Official Website] [Instagram]
TED, Air New Zealand, 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Washington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, CBS Networks, NBC Universal, Discovery Channel, BBC America, Degree Women, FedEx, Human Rights Campaign, Microsoft, The Humane Society of the United States