Inspired By Mike Disfarmer- 20 Portraits

I’ve been an admirer of Mike Disfarmer’s images (taken during the 1930’s-1940’s) ever since I came across his work a decade ago. What do I like? First, I’m a big fan of classic black and white photography. That was the initial draw. Next  are the people he spent a lifetime crafting portraits of. None famous- just regular folks coming to the studio to have their pictures taken. Sure there were other photographers doing this, but Disfarmer’s work sets him apart. He had the remarkable ability to capture individual personalities and quirks on film.


For the past three months I’ve been shooting a series based on Disfarmer’s work. I found twenty regular folks as models. Some I matched up with Disfarmer’s actual photos- not to every last detail, but close enough to make the connection. Other photos were posed in what I refer to as in the spirit of Disfarmer.

Portrait #1 of 20


(Cover of Abbi and Portrait of C.G. # 01/20- © 2013 Martha Browne)

Related Nibs posts-

Classic Portraits

Photo Diary: Portrait

4 thoughts on “Inspired By Mike Disfarmer- 20 Portraits

    1. Thanks, BJ. I’ll be posting all 20 portraits in the weeks ahead. Everyone (kids & adults) who participated in this were great. I couldn’t have done it without them.

  1. I wasn’t really familiar with Mike Disfarmer and followed your link. I can see why you’re interested in his work. The people! I can’t wait to see the rest of your series.- Jane

    1. Jane- Doing this series was a good learning experience for me. One thing I found that helped was knowing all the people involved…there was an ease and trust there between the person being photographer and me…the photographer.

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