Thursday, May 31, 2018

Felicity Huffman

Felicity Huffman, Toronto, Sept. 16, 2005

THE 2005 FILM FESTIVAL ENDED WITH A GUARDED SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. After around twenty portrait shoots in about a week, I allowed myself to feel a little pride in returning to the sort of work that once defined what I did as a professional photographer, though I doubt if I would have considered using any of it to solicit work outside of the free daily.

My last shoot, as far as I can tell, was with Felicity Huffman, who was in town promoting Transamerica, a film where she starred as a man about to undergo his final transitional surgery into a woman. Considering what fills the headlines today, it seems like a film well ahead of its time, though I doubt if Huffman - a biological woman - could  have been cast in the lead now without attracting protests.

Felicity Huffman, Toronto, Sept. 16, 2005

Huffman had a great reputation as a serious actress, with the added cachet of starring in a sensationally successful TV series. (I will admit to having binge watched the first season of Desperate Housewives on DVD with my wife, before binge watching was a thing.) Along with her husband, William H. Macy, she's part of the sort of thespian power couple rarely seen since Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne or Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.

The photos were taken around noon, and I'm guessing it was in one of the rooms at the back of the Intercontinental on Bloor that don't get a lot of light. I posed Huffman close to the window, where the light is just bright enough to work before it drops off into shadow. I gave her my usual minimal direction and got up close (the 50mm lens on the paper's Canon Rebel digital camera,) assuming that an actor like Huffman would respond with a brief performance, which she did.

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