Sam is a senior in high school preparing to embark upon a college career in baseball, while pursuing a degree in engineering. I recently had the lucky opportunity to photograph Sam for his senior pictures, which was no sweat for this confident, bright athlete (that his location preferences were easy to work with and the fact that he’s got a little James Dean-ness to his look perhaps supported as well).
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Photography’s strength is not in straight, historical documentation. This is because photographic truth is always a distortion of reality. To accept the reality inside a photograph as actual reality is to negate the unique and important relationship between the photographer and the viewer. Pieter Hugo has added, saying, “The power of photography is inherently voyeuristic, but I want that desire to look to be confronted.”` This is an attitude with pedigree; one which many photographers, as opposite as Graciela Iturbide and Ansel Adams, adhered to in some degree, but Hugo pushes the example one step further. In the photographs of his home continent of Africa, Mr. Hugo seems to question the role of his viewers (and himself) in the situations that he photographs, and although his images often seem exotic, it is impossible to avoid experiencing an underlying human connection to the pictures. In an Aperture story“ on the photographer, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen quoted the novelist John Fowles to explain this phenomena: “All human modes of description (photographic, mathematical…) are metaphorical. Even the most precise scientific description of an object or a movement is a tissue of metaphors.”“` Law-Viljoen commenced to add, “Hugo understands that a photographic metaphor, a way of describing something through reference to something else, is created as much by the elements inside the frame of the image itself as by the carefully chosen distance, what I have called the critical zone, from the photographer’s lens to his subject. It is within this zone that Hugo maneuvers through the muddy waters of political engagement, documentary responsibility, and the relationship of these to his own aesthetic.” (more…)
Lindsey Davidson and I have had the opportunity to work with each other on several occasions (1, 2), and I would say that her transition into modeling is now fairly well complete. It is always great when you find someone who you work easily with, and because of that ideas and such flow easily as well. For this group of images, I took inspiration from the halcyon days of fashion and portrait photography and created a look that I hope feels warm and dreamlike.