My work as a Portritist, is more than just simply taking pictures. My job is to create bespoke individual images that will define someones identity as being distinctive, unique and worthy of other peoples attention.
With the advent of modern cameras and now the smart phone, portraiture has become accessible to all and Portrait making as an art form lost it’s position in society, with people now being content to show and share their images from screens and hard-drives.
The web and camera phones democratization of photography, has meant that my role as a specialist portrait maker, has become even more relevant than at probably any other stage in modern history. The work of the good photographic portraitists, is beginning to standout, to be recognized and sort after, for their unique talent and ability. Now that the general public can take their own pictures of quality with ease, there is now a greater understanding and a developing appreciation for what the ordinary person would now consider to be top line photography and artistic professional level portraiture.
The great portritist’s like Yousuf Karsh(1908-2002), one of the masters of 20th century photography. Was sort after to make portraits of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment. Karsh’s place in history was sealed on 30 December 1941 when he photographed Winston Churchill. His contemporary’s today include Platon (Platon Antoniou) who has taken portraits of many presidents and well known world figures and of course Annie Leibovitz who’s celebrated portfolio includes the great and the good of contemporary 20th & 21st century culture. There are many notable others.
All of these people have one thing in common, they are people who are able to capture the essence of another person. That indescribable gift that makes us feel the nature and character of a person. These Portraitists are sort after by the great and the good because of their ability to capture the light and the presence that exist in the eyes that transforms a photograph into a work of art akin to a painting.
They do not do this by simply trying to take as many pictures as possible and then hoping to find the right shot. There is a much more considered approach that involves the creation of a rapport between the Portraitist and the subject. The Portraitist seems to possess this innate instinct to be able to see that moment when the subject relaxes to the point where they reveal their true self. in the moments this has happened to me, the feeling is like a shot of electricity running through you, like the anticipation or even prediction of a moment that has not yet happened but you know its about to. In that moment, a glance, a small movement or a gesture becomes like the opening of a curtain and the streaming in of the light. In that moment you have the mood that makes the image really special, but their is one other special ingredient in the mix, that is the portraitists ability to add their own brand of light and texture to the composition. It is this that separates the great from the ordinary.
The great and the good are seeking out quality for the images that they would have represent themselves. This fueling the revival in the art of bespoke photographic portraiture.
Not all photographers are created equal and only a small percentage of us have this unique ability to create the conditions in which the images that they make defines an individual in ways that make others care.
I am a traditionalist and I am continuing in the grand tradition of the Portraitist, a small group of people who’s interests lie in the complexities and nuances of the human condition. Its is my belief that the truly gifted Portraitists have a faith and an acceptance of people that allows a session to become a true collaboration between the Portraitist and their subjects, with both working together to create that special result that definitive point were all things come together in one image of RECOGNITION.