The Last Portrait; 20 Years of Portrait Photography Exhibition
I never grow tired of looking at faces, studying body language, and gestures while thinking about how each of these things makes us unique individuals. I am fascinated how much one can discern about a person in a photograph. Mood, feeling, confidence, insecurity, confusion, and determination are a few things that can be translated though a photographic portrait. Of course, these momentary states do not convey the full spectrum of one’s personality. Thankfully, people are more complex than the click of the shutter. But, the click of the shutter does determine that moment in time, that fleeting emotion caught by the camera when the subject connects to either the camera or the photographer in a way that is comfortable, unguarded and revealing something honest about themselves. This is the moment I strive for in my portraits.
For this exhibition, I have selected images from several bodies of work I completed over the last twenty years as well as portraits taken while traveling. Many times, I approach strangers while traveling and ask to take their photograph. It is typically something in their manner revealing a sense of character that compels me to ask. I am not interested in beauty, but in a stance, stare, gesture or something I can’t quite put my finger on that makes the individual unique to me. For that moment, I get to connect with the subject and think about what it would be like to be this person in a particular place and time. Quite possibly, it is a natural curiosity that drives me to investigate others in this way. The shared experience of taking portraits creates an important memory for me of the interesting lives that I’ve encountered albeit family, friends, or strangers. As I looked back on my work from the last twenty years while curating this exhibition, I realize that I photograph to remember and that each person that stands in front of my camera enriches my life tremendously through this encounter and exchange.