A photograph is a portal through which we may enter the heart of another human being. It is a glimpse of something that cannot be fully conveyed in an instant. It’s not the whole picture. It is not something that can even be seen.
Auras, and energy and chakras sound like hippie talk but they are just words for the ineffable quality of a mind attached to a living body. They speak of things seen and felt beyond seeing. I wish I had a word for that feeling, the feeling that you are in the presence of something alive and wise.
That aliveness, that vibrancy, is all I hope to capture and it usually comes through, though not always as dramatically as in the portrait of Jonah above.
Light is important. Backgrounds are important. But what really matters is the connection between me and you. Maybe that makes you feel uncomfortable. You don’t know me. But if you allow me to take your picture you will. You won’t know the details of my life but you’ll know the kind of person that I am, you’ll know kindness.
We want to convey competence. We want to convey approachability. We want to convey a friendly, afable nature. But ultimately, in a portrait (I believe) we want to convey our humanity. You are alive, You are wise. And you deserve to be seen.