When I think about photography, I think about wanting to make an image seep with emotion or with a particular sense.
It’s not so much about mood, although that plays a part as well, but mood is a surface emotion, something that can be easily manipulated by moving a prop or changing a colour. I’m looking for something that is integral of a person, a landscape or a moment.
A sense is more of an undefined element. The fleeting, ephemeral notions in your or the other person’s head.
It’s not about visual elements – they are a stylistic and therefore very random element, although sometimes they are helpful in order to convey a particular emotion.
It’s strange, perhaps, but I do not think about photography in purely visual terms. It is very much a sensual experience for me.
Clean, clearly defined and well-lit images have their lure, of course, but they are also sterile and lifeless. An artificial emotion pasted onto a face because the photographer wants to convey the image directly from his own head rather than allow it to happen.
A photograph, the kind I’m looking for, is shaped by the world and not by me. It may be frustrating for models, but there is no right image for me. Sometimes an image appears, or an emotion appears that I might find appealing and attractive. That’s what I’m looking for and it’s a question of being attuned rather than being keenly, visually aware.
Of course it is entirely subjective, that is, dependent on my own ideas and perhaps mistakes, but objective photography is advertisement, surface value.
It’s not just beautiful emotions that I want to convey, but rather the enigmatic ones. Moments that have layers and make you want to puzzle them out. To simply say “Smile” means you are not aware what the other person is feeling but only what you are seeing. In order to give meaningful direction you need to be able to understand what sort of image another person holds in their heads as well as the emotion they are bringing to the table. Constant communication is a great help here. Or silence.
There is no wrong expression, no wrong emotion. This goes too much into philosophy, but I’m looking for something that is naturally arising. What this is, that’s as much of a surprise for me as for anyone.
You ought to feel something when looking at an image. This may be the beginning of a thought or the hint of an emotion, a sense of place or a sense of a person. That’s what I’m looking for.