Emily Shur on How Great Portraits Are Made

March 28, 2014

By Conor Risch

© Emily Shur

"I think a big part of being a portrait photographer is the ability to carve out the opportunity for yourself, to build the trust, to even get the change to take the picture you want to take," says Emily Shur. Her conversation with embattled former cyclist Lance Armstrong about how she wanted to photograph him put the potentially defensive subject at ease.

It’s rare, says Emily Shur, to speak on the phone with a subject before a shoot. But there she was in her hotel room in Aspen, Colorado, last November, explaining to former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong what she envisioned for their ESPN The Magazine shoot later in the day. The conversation was a delicate one. Armstrong, the vilified one-time king...

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