Applications: Portrait Photography, Critical Portrait Photography & Art, Commercial Portrait Photography, Fine Art, Prints & Social Media.
This medium format black & white film series was captured in February 2020, approximately 1 month before the pandemic lockdowns in March of that year. These photos were to be part of a new idea, a new series that I wanted to create & explore. This session was a pilot project that involved an evening of dinner - that I made - fun & deep conversation & finally the portrait session. The series was to explore my ability to read people's micro-reactions or expressions.
I was in the middle of creating test prints of these portraits in Ottawa, Canada & the photos had a specific exposure that I needed to lock in & it was taking some time for me to develop what I had in my head. The pandemic hit, slowing things down to such a frustrating level & it was taxing my enjoyment of the portraits I had created & what I was exploring in my own psyche as a result of the creation & reaction from the subjects as a result of these portraits.
Photographing this series came to a complete stop due to initial lockdowns & restrictions - that I was & am in support of - for so long that I lost focus & went onto other things. I was also in the middle of learning how to make digital fine art prints; I was in the process of bringing my print development & print making in studio as the pandemic came to town & I was faced with supply-chain issues, paper shortages etc. & it left my learning curve very steep & long.
I scaled back how I spoke about the pieces & the project. I submitted the photo, Ron no.1 - 120 from this series, to a competition & was awarded an honorable mention, Professional Portrait category. The photo was not the precise example of what I wanted to create & didn't love the idea that I had placed in this completion even though I was so thankful. I moved further away from finishing these images.
I shared these photos on social media as examples of what I was 'capable' of at that moment in time but I kept looking at these portraits trying to find the energy & excitement to go back and finally finish them.
Each time I look at them, they tell me something different, their voices echoing something foreboding, something menacing & looming on the horizon. I just wish I knew how to listen to them back in February of 2020 because now I see what they were trying to tell me.
I’ve finally decided to finish these portraits as I intended. I am still working on the final physical prints but digitally this is what I am intending. I only have some fine tune adjustments & clean-up to ready for physical print. So far I am very happy with the results & these portraits.
I want to resume this exploration & series but these days these photos now serve as a reminder of the experience of 2020 & I will see where things go from here.
Ron no. 1 (below)
Was awarded an Honourable Mention at the Monochrome Awards 2020 - Professional Portrait