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Powerful countenance or intimidating

“It’s really touching when you’re invited into someone’s house,” he says.

“That’s so nice to experience as a traveler.”After tea, he posed the girl outside on the front steps in the shadow of the roof where an opening of light from the sky shone on her face. People really reacted strongly to it.” Lazar, who’s based in Brisbane, Australia, got his first taste of travel photography 14 years ago on a three-month trip to Thailand and India when he was 21. Impressed by the quality of his travel companion’s film photographs, Lazar began researching travel photography and photo editing.“I felt a real connection to cultural portrait photos with people in them, people in other cultures and countries that had interesting clothes and a different way of life,” he says.

By a stroke of luck, she and her friends approached him—this often happens to Lazar on his travels—asking what brought him to their tiny village. ’” That’s how he wound up in the home of the girl with the green eyes the next day, sharing tea and biscuits with her parents.

The sun was setting, so it was too late to capture a portrait. She gave him a tour, showed him her drawings of castles and unicorns.

Places where we, and our families can go to at the end of the day to enjoy God’s goodness and the company of family. Places where God’s Name is revered, and where His Word is lived out in our lives, day after day.And while you may think what I’m describing is outside of your grasp, I can tell you it is not.God’s Word provides rich and abundant truths regarding the home. I believe that when you do it will begin to reflect the beautiful, godly vision God has for your household.He prefers not to begin by asking for a photograph; he begins by making friends “as quickly and efficiently as I can,” he says. I will say it took me many years of practice.”Befriending a stranger is just the first step.As he speaks with a potential portrait subject—making sure to take things slow, not to rush—he’s also thinking out a possible composition, surveying the area for a background that will jibe with the subject’s wardrobe.To make the eyes the central focus of the portrait, Lazar zooms in on them, focuses his lens on the eyelashes, and then zooms back out to recompose.“That guarantees that the eyes are in focus the most,” he says, and not another part of the face, such as the nose or forehead.Often he tells the subject not to smile in the photo, and he gravitates toward faces that, even at rest, with a neutral expression, “look intensely powerful on an emotive level.” That being said, there are some faces that look more natural wearing a smile or breaking into laughter, in which case he encourages those expressions for the portrait.Though Lazar’s photos have appeared in many newspapers, books, and magazines, including National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and Asian Geographic, and he was a 2011 Smithsonian Photo Contest winner, photography isn’t his full-time job. But the photography has taken over.” Since he works with students, he enjoys long breaks throughout the year that afford him time to travel and make photographs.He told her not to smile, to lean on her knee with her face forward and to look straight into the camera. So he bought a DSLR and began using his annual vacations (from teaching piano) to take extended journeys into the world, focusing primarily on making portraits of strangers. Over the past decade, traveling to remote villages in countries including Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Bangladesh, he’s learned how to spot a compelling face in the crowd (it’s something in the eyes, he says).And he’s become adept at persuading a stranger to sit for a portrait.“My approach is to have a smile on my face and always be respectful and polite,” he says.


  1. David Lazar's journey into countenance. He keeps his camera in a sling bag so that it's easy to access but hidden from sight, so as not to intimidate. Often he tells the subject not to smile in the photo, and he gravitates toward faces that, even at rest, with a neutral expression, “look intensely powerful on an emotive level.

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