Not everyone wants to be seen. I mean truly seen. Many of us prefer some degree of obfuscation. The people I photograph, mostly, want to be seen. They’re looking for something a bit more authentic, something not as plastic as a headshot.
I approach photography like I approach all relationships. I’m looking to know people. I want to get below the surface, past all the small talk and into the realms of the real. Life is just too short for anything else.
So if you’re going to look at me, look at me. I don’t care if this is your ‘business’ portrait, authenticity matters more than ever now. I think we’re learning that through this experience with Trump. It’s not that this president taught me anything, it’s that he’s validated something I’ve always believed. Sincerity matters. Truth matters. People matter.
Across the board, from business to pleasure, how we show up in the world is not determined by a hard line between different personas compartmentalized for different purposes. It’s all the same. Who we are is who we are no matter where we are. Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but inconsistency in this case is at best confusing and at worst dangerous.
Authentic people are who they say they are. And it’s hard to be an authentic fool. Because authenticity begets self-reflection. In order to be seen we’ve got to be willing to see ourselves. Which is why a great portrait begins in front of a mirror.