“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘Portrait Month’ plunging forward with an old photograph from several years ago. It’s still a ‘natural light’ image – I really never got used to working in a studio environment – but it’s still a pretty heavily-produced series we shot that day. I love working with unpredictable light and problem-solving on the fly.
I’m pretty sure she didn’t like most of the images – but then, she’s even more critical of herself than I am of my own work, which is already unfathomably extreme.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
~Henry David Thoreau
I could write volumes about this man, but I’m not confident in my own abilities to put the quality of his character into words. This is a gentleman I met several years ago who, like most grandfathers, couldn’t stop telling me about his children and grandchildren. But his stories were always imbued with a thoughtfulness and a history that I was able to learn more and more about him – where he has been and what he has done in his life, the people the he loved and lost, the jobs he worked and the places he lived, the hardships and celebrations – and I valued every last second I had, telling stories about our families, discussing moral and social philosophy, and eating marijuana chocolate and laughing at inappropriate jokes.
This is a man who has lived life to an extent, in my estimation, that few ever do.
This is a man that has positively affected my life, and changed it for the better.
– – – SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER
“It’s extraordinary to look into a baby’s face and see a piece of your flesh and your spirit.”
What can I say? I often photograph unique personalities, wanderers and artists, musicians and random encounters on the street. I like vagabonds, the gritty and the homeless, the creative and the mad. But sometimes it’s refreshing to just look at an innocent face, a tabula rasa that hasn’t yet been marked by experience. ‘Portrait Month’ continues today with a smiling baby boy with some pretty remarkable eyes.
“A person himself believes that all the other portraits are good likenesses except the one of himself.”
Another image for ‘Portrait Month,’ this was done as a request by the subject, who desperately wanted his portrait taken, nude and masked, in the dingy back room of a dusty old gym with splintered wood floorboards, old rusty lockers, and split leather weight benches and a deflated speed bag. We assumed, since nobody was there, that the owner wouldn’t mind if we made some pictures.
“To sit for one’s portrait is like being present at one’s own creation.”
Today we have a portrait of Danny Baker. It’s not about the model of the car or the year of manufacture – it’s the mileage, folks. And I think Danny has driven far and wide, through some rough terrain.
There will be few words or personal stories this month. Today marks the beginning of a month of portraits – some are street photographs, some improvised, and others from formal photographic sessions. Rather than press into these images my own stories, I would rather the faces speak for themselves.
I hope you enjoy that images to follow. But for now, we’ll kick things off with a beautiful woman – it never hurts to start things off with a beautiful woman…