OUR BLOG

02 Jun 2019

Tinkerbella

I recently took part in a workshop with the incredible Ryan Muirhead where among other things he voiced with uncanny accuracy some of the thoughts and concerns I had been mulling over about my own work, which I’ve been thinking about for some time now: how easy it is, in trying to produce perfect images, to get dazzled by lights, and makeup, and screens, to neglect what is going on right in front of you. As portrait photographers we try to capture something elusive, we look for ourselves through the people we photograph, their emotions and their beauty we resonate with. And the struggle is thus to remain fiercely mindful about this exchange, and prime creating an environment where the human connection is possible first, and maybe, just maybe, if we’re observant, we might be able to capture a piece of it in our images.

Tink — palladium print from a 4×5 film negative.

I recently had the chance to meet and spend some time with the amazing Tink; we sat down surrounded by dry flowers and chatted about happy things and sad things, and shot a few pictures along the way, which more than beautiful, now act as a still memento of such moment. And I am thankfully reminded that this is ultimately what it needs to be about: once the few hours of emoji smiles and red hearts have subsided and it is all silent again, and the inner demons of self doubt start creeping in again, surrounding myself by the images I love, and the people I’ve reached through them, gives sense to all the time and energy that goes into making them. I really struggle framing my craft in terms of usefulness, or purpose, or economic viability, or something that makes it any easier to explain. Like other creative souls I’ve had the rare chance to open up and talk to about it, a passion is something you do because you need to, and would not be able to go by without it.

The first shot at the top of this post is a palladium print from a 4×5 film negative. Next, here’s a few more images I absolutely love. I was hand holding my beasty Mamiya RZ67, shooting at low speed in available window light. The sun was intermittently peeking through the cloudy sky and the exposure was all over the place while I was having a “screw it, we’re going with this” moment, and focused on staying with Tink as we chatted. And, in a split second, she put her hands around her face and gave me this incredible look that I can’t stop staring back at. Just a split second, but I’m so glad I caught it.

joesfer

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