Portraits

Portraiture is the art of revealing a person’s inner-self from a distance, using only a lens, a camera body, and photographic skills. My father told me that portraits were 10% camera and 90% personal engagement. “If you can engage them in conversation Frank, they will not even see your camera.” Portraits reveal the inner-most aspects of a person’s self. When I photograph anyone, my initial sense is to remove that person from the photographic process. I might speak with them in a way that directs the tone of conversation and therefore causes their expression to change in that same direction. Or I might not speak at all and allow the silence but for the click of my camera to dictate a sense of quiet. That too can drive facial expression. The point is that any portrait will necessarily reflect a relationship between photographer and subject. Although that relationship is fleeting and subtle, it is powerful too and in the moment often drives the nature of the image.

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