Gee, there were some very close guesses (and some wild ones... 1958??? I was 6 at that time).
There's a story behind the post. In the years preceding this portrait, done in 1984, most portraits were done with relatively small studio lights. It was a tough technique to master, but when done well, could yield excellent results. But then Dean Collins educated us all on not only the ease and beauty of using large light sources, but also the scientific aspects of it. Dean did nothing short of revolutionize the portrait and commercial industry. Yes, one person did and still can make a difference.
Then another photographer, J. Michael McBride, came along and talked about something equally foreign for it's day... using windows for lighting. Of course, photographer started out being lit by the sun and windows, but along the way, artificial lighting took over because of its consistency, reliability and repeatability. But window light is something that every home has, and... it's free!
So I set about learning that technique. There are definitely do's and don'ts. And I made my share of mistakes. But the image of the woman sewing is one of my successes. She was our wonderfully calm, pleasant and upbeat neighbor across the street, Mrs. Starr. When I was learning to play guitar, I had a Stratocaster and a Kustom 150 amp. It was loud. I had to play in the garage because my folks didn't want me "playing" inside. Well, Mrs. Starr was always gracious and said she enjoyed hearing me "play". I knew I wasn't very good, but always appreciated her saying that, even though it may not have been true. It was probably the kind of thing you say to encourage them, or that maybe it just sounded like youth to her. That affected me, and years later we lived across from a school playground. While some older folks didn't like all the racket, I LOVED hearing the kids yelling and screaming on the playground for probably the same reasons she liked hearing me practice on the guitar. It's life. But I digress.
I wanted to photograph Mrs. Starr doing what she did so (pun intended) much. Sewing. I used the lighting method J. Michael taught me.
For the image in this post that I did in 1985, I used the same lighting. This was of a girl who was 16 at the time. I don't know where she is now, but she would be about 44 now.
Both images were a direct result of learning from a master. I hope that I am able to influence others as others have influenced me.
I now return you to 2012.