There comes a time in ones life when work isn’t enough and while I have thoroughly enjoyed my work as a photographer, living, breathing and becoming my work for others, I have lost myself in that work like so many before me.
While I do my job as a portraitist, I have an obligation to work with my clients to create an image he or she will truly love and display in their home and while I love this I need to take that process further.
So I decided to be inspired with a new projects that I feel will appeal to my colleagues, family and friends. At least it will create a buzz about looking at portraiture differently. I know I have.
“Stepping Out of the Way”
A Tribute to Albert Watson’s portrait of Steve Jobs.
Portrait studies emulating from Albert Watson’s famous iconic portrait of Steve Jobs. Integrating his philosophy of portraiture and ‘stepping out of the way’ as a creator and making the subject the object of the portrait.
This project was inspired by photographer Levi Sim who has challenged photographers around the country to do something good with this project.
The sale of these portraits benefited the MCA: Marion Cultural Alliance, who give grants for public art projects in Marion county. This year we gave over 16,000 in grants. Go to mcaocala.com to join, and see the wonderful art we have in our town!
When getting a portrait created we all put on our ‘game’ face. We put on the face that we think people want to see and what we ourselves want to see. But when I asked these people to be Steve Jobs for a moment, something interesting happened. They went into this role play and forgot about themselves in that moment. Next, right before I took another the photograph I asked them a personal question. Everyone is in the same pose but if you look into their eyes, you will see their personality shine through as they are thinking about the answer to that personal question. That is what I wanted to capture. They became the subject of the object in the image.
I also had each of these people take on my role as the photographer and let me be the subject. I tried to follow directions and let them lead me into a mood, pose – whatever they wanted, and let them create a portrait of me.
As an image creator, I feel it is important to step into my clients’ shoes. I find that as a photographer, I’m richer for that experience. I have found at this time in my life, I am more comfortable with myself. Though I am not always happy with how I look or feel, I have come to that place where I can say, “This is me, here is what I have to work with. Go with it and conquer the world!”
One of my favorite “photographers” was so excited to be me (the photographer) that I wish I had the camera pointed at her. She jumped from behind the camera to me and fixed my hair, made sure I didn’t have anything on my face – all the things I do. I was pleasantly surprised, it’s wonderful to know you’re in the hands of someone who’ll take the time and make sure you’re looking your best! Most everyone else was just trying to operate the camera and take the image. (a good lesson for me as a photographer)
I did get a great question from a 17 year old: “What outcome do you expect from this project?” I mean, what inspired him to ask that?! Very astute!