“my photographs don’t go below the surface. they don’t go below anything. they’re readings of the surface. i have great faith in surfaces. a good one is full of clues. but whenever i become absorbed in the beauty of a face, in the excellence of a single feature, i feel i’ve lost what’s really there…been seduced by someone else’s standard of beauty or by the sitter’s own idea of the best in him. that’s not usually the best. so each sitting becomes a contest.” ~ richard avedon
i sat there after reading this and “….whenever i become absorbed in the beauty of a face, in the excellence of a single feature, i feel I’ve lost what’s really there…” repeated over and over again in my head. it summed up exactly what sometimes i feel lacks in my personal portrait work. i am to often worried about the face. seduced by someones else standard of beauty. so that is what i go after. i try to capture the face. the eyes. in a sense a basic portrait that has been done thousands of times. the images are fine. they are pretty images of pretty people but often i feel that’s it. that’s all it is. nothing less. nothing more.
so with those words in my thoughts, i decided to try something different for this shoot. i wanted to capture and try to create images with some sort of feeling. to evoke a mood that may be different for each viewer but in the end staying away from the pretty picture of a pretty face that i often do.
did i achieve what i was after? i’m not sure. but i do feel it is a step in the right direction for me and where i want my portrait work to go. this is why i love to shoot these personal projects. to challenge myself. to allow myself to try something different. to grow as an artist and step out of my comfortable bubble that i so often stay within.
Leica M9 | 35 summilux ASPH