The Honest Portrait Project
The Honest Portrait Project culminated from a few different ideas over the past year or so for me. First, the Netflix documentary Abstract was unreal, and I specifically loved the episode with photographer Platon on portraits. His style tends to be a bit more high key and iconic with the lighting, but his way with clients is intentional and gives way to noticing, listening and interacting with his subjects in a manner in which I deeply resonate. I also recently took a Masterclass with the renowned Annie Leibovitz and I was encouraged by her longevity in the highly competitive photography business as well as her genuine thoughtfulness in how she sets out to craft an image.
Reflecting over my Christmas holiday, I noticed that I took just a handful of grainy, crappy photos and videos of my own growing kids on my phone and that was it. They weren't great images by any means, they were not intentional and they were most likely going to be deleted entirely in a few months when I needed the storage and the holiday was long past and seemed irrelevant. What happened to when we were kids and we took a posed photo in front of the tree in our finest Christmas Eve clothes, or even Christmas morning in our pajamas?! We used to have a physical roll of 24 images that not only were taken by intent, but taken and kept. It got me thinking to how we take photos and how we have a more fast-paced world of selfies and device images that are taken in a moment's notice and then added into the mix of media over consumption. Believe me, I'm not at all against selfies or phones or media! Rather, pondering how an image is taken (not necessarily the means but the method) and what is done with it after it is taken?!
The invitation for #thehonestportrait was simply to come-as-you-are and to have your honest photo taken. The idea of a portrait is kind of a lost art, even old-school-- it calls the subject to be brave and stand (or sit) alone (no family cohorts as shields, no wedding party group shenanigans to hide along with!) My aim was to take classic portraits but with a modern twist- playing with perspective, light, space or personality. I wanted photos that were artsy, honest, and represented YOU, the subject.
A very sincere thanks to my brave participants and willing subjects. You all did so great. No session was alike. I've collected quotes below the photos from the participants as their own words speak louder than I can express. But I will leave you with part of this one... "you are doing so much more than just taking photos, I hope you know that."
Much love. Thanks all.