I often tell the story of seeing someone in a crowd, who I had photographed years prior to that moment, recounting how I began to approach them, then stopping, as it dawned upon me that they possibly wouldn't remember me.
Our meeting, all of those years before, perhaps only lasted for five minutes but in those intervening years I had looked at that photograph, lived with it. I had talked to people about it, had it in my portfolio, on my website and had developed a relationship with it in ways that I never had - or been able to - with this person. Yet strangely I felt that I knew them in some way.
But of course I didn't.
If, on first meeting, this person, I had walked up to them and said can I stare at you for five minutes? I would have found myself either arrested, been placed under psychiatric care or sparked out on the ground. Yet the power of photography enabled me to approach them and point a little box with a hole in the front at them - and then stare at them for five minutes.
Yet, beyond the flippancy of that comment, there is often something profoundly intimate about that moment. The moment when you, as the photographer, are allowed into someone's life, even fleetingly; to go in search of finding something of them - even if it's something imagined.
This often is a charged moment that settles when a calm falls and they forget that you are there and you hope that something is being revealed. That somehow the camera is recording this intimate connection in a way that the viewer will be able to relate to, understand, feel.
But what the renderings of this intimate connection, this transaction if you will, actually truly reveals about this person I'm not quite sure. Are portraits always an imposition that tell us more about ourselves? Revealing the stereotypical projections of the photographer and viewer which we choose to overlay upon the person in the frame.
But I digress.
It's this charged moment that I'm interested in exploring within Any Moment Can be Something. I'm interested in exploring the interchange between the photographer and the subject. Exploring what each are thinking and feeling beyond and outside of the frame, at the moment of that intimate connection; and seeing how that corresponds to the final portrait.
But why are we always in search of meaning from photographs, from portraits, any way? When after all, they only record light on surface, as someone famous once said.
Well, there's a long way to go and you can see some examples of my early attempts to negotiate this here.
If you live within the West Midlands and would be interested in taking part and being photographed by me I'd love to hear from you. You can contact me here:
You're probably wondering if the portrait below is of the person, that I saw in the crowd, well no it isn't. You perhaps want to look at the photograph of that person and find your own meaning.
If so, why not just close your eyes and then imagine them and then come to a conclusion about who you think they are - I'm guessing you won't be wrong.