Monday, September 03, 2007

the price...



If you think about the most iconic portrait, which one comes to mind? Is it Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl?, or maybe one of the many amazing images by Annie Leibovitz , Walker Evans, , Robert Mapplethorp , William Allard , Helmut Newton , or Richard Avedon?

Portraits are the most difficult of the photographic pursuits. The skill of the portraitist is to capture a revealing moment that peers into the soul of it’s subject… it reveals the unseen, it moves us.

"Photographers are like hunters who possess the killing instinct, but not the desire to kill."
--Peter Coyote, "Exposure"

Stuffed animal heads on the wall, or portraits, same thing, both trophies of the hunt.

Some tribes believe that photographs contain the soul of their subject. That puts a heavy burden on the photographer.

Do we have a responsibility for the images we take?

Do hunters have the same kind of burden of conscience over their "body count”?

Some of my portraits have begun to haunt me.

The price we pay for the portraits we take is that they end up owning a piece of us.

I don’t have portraits on my walls any more…