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Hearts and Minds

We are so much more than eyes, and skin, and hair. We are more than ears and necks. We are packets of energy and light held within these fragile containers. Our faces are labels. We can discern some of the ingredients from a mere glance, but only some. In the right light, at the right angle, we can get a sense of character. But what is ‘right’? When the spirit glows. You know it when you see it. You feel it.

Sunlight is, I believe, is the most revelatory. It is also the most flattering. Sure, it can be approximated. Faked. But the serendipity of natural sunlight creates the most powerful portraits. It is what the painters of old used for their portraits. Rembrandt. I am after that Rembrandt drama. The drama of the face. That is a landscape worthy of depiction. In such a photograph the soul seeps through. And souls are what we bond with, not faces. Hearts and minds are won through feeling, not seeing.

The portrait is a success if you feel something. I’m not interested in lifeless cardboard cutouts. And it begins with me. If you feel me, I will feel you. The photo will possess feeling. That is what I have discovered in the brief time I’ve been doing this. Five years. Six years. Hundreds and hundreds of people before my camera. I give you some of my real self and you give me back some of yours. It’s a simple formula. Yet there is much nuance to it. And I find I don’t know as much as I think I do.

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