In Search of a Common Language
series received merit award in 2009 International Photography Awards
series exhibited in solo shows in 2007 and 2008
The portrait is one of the most popular and ubiquitous genres of photography. Deeply rooted in the rich history and traditions of portrait painting, photographic portraits can be found in editorial, fashion, advertising, documentary, commercial and conceptual imagery. Throughout the history of this medium, a great many photographers have created portraits in hopes of capturing the “essence” of their subject or at least, exemplifying their subject’s character in some way. Others have sought to employ their subject in order to portray some narrative, whether theatrical or seemingly commonplace. Still more have worked to present a genuine example of humanity in all its forms. Most of us might recognize all these approaches simply as a means to represent a person.
I am compelled by something more intangible, an intuition, a feeling. Like most photographers, I am drawn to specific lighting or composition or “look”, but these elements are just the foundation for something I find more fascinating. I am most interested in documenting quotidian expression. I set out to record gestures we might all find familiar in their casual articulation. However, we take them for granted and often do not even notice them when they occur. They are “in between” moments, often unposed and usually forgotten.
In his description of Richard Avedon’s portraits, Brian Wallis speaks of Avedon’s “unrelenting focus on the individual, emphasized by capturing unposed moments of inattention and lack of composure”. In this series of images, I hope to create an unspoken vernacular that resonates in its unmannered representation through these subjects.