This is me...
...taking a self portrait in my studio. Nothing fancy. A t-shirt, a white background. trying to just be real.
I've been thinking a lot about authenticity lately. Ideas of beauty and perception, about vulnerability and being open to those around us.
What I'm finding in my own life, is that the more open and honest I am with others, the more they trust me enough to share those same things. It's a different kind of beauty. The kind where when you really know someone, they become more and more beautiful to you. It's not a physical thing per se... it's more mental. You see their ups and downs, their struggles and victories. That openess creates a different dynamic that breaks through the veneer of our professional lives. We appreciate people differently, more fully.
Normally, if someone tries to take my picture, they get this...
I've started a project that tries to capture the beauty I see in some of the people I know. Some are old friends that mean the world to me. Some are new friends that I met through social media or common circles but wanted to get to know more.
I set all the rules early. I wanted to keep all the variables the same so that instead of focussing on colour, or fashion, or other distractions, we focus on the person. Clothing was up to each person, but I asked that it be something they like, that was the real them, and just that it not be too bold or patterned. Every picture is done with the same white background, same lighting, same everything. By stripping away all the distractions, I hope to focus on and share the beauty of the people that helped me with this project... And I know, I know... We don't typically say men are beautiful. They're strong and rugged, handsome and manly. Whatever...
Are they perfect? Nope.
Are they somehow award winning poses? Nope.
Will they be real? Yep.
I'm going to create a separate gallery for this series. Daily, I'll upload 3 pictures from their portrait sitting until it's done. It's grown since its inception so I have an end in mind, but the work is still ongoing. It'll be done when it's done.
What I can say, is that EVERY single sitting has been a joy for me. Just some time for two people to sit down and talk. No distractions, no gadgets, no urgent agenda. A few moments where we could have been anywhere, but chose to spend some time together.
NOTE: I've updated this gallery to 1 picture of each participant in the spring of 2017.