A personality in ONE photo?

I am home.  Back in my studio with so many new visual assets that it will take a week to wrap my head around it all.  Still baffled by all that has transpired in a week.  4 commercial airliners, two small charters, one helicopter and countless hours bouncing down washboarded South Africa roads and I find myself not tired at all.  I feel more alive than ever this morning!  I had grand aspirations of one big blog post to tell the whole story of the trip but I decided to cancel that plan and do multiple short posts to adequately describe the different experiences we had.  Todays topic is all about a personal challenge I gave myself before leaving.  My goal was to in one photo capture the personality of the people we would end up meeting along the way.  This challenge was inspired by my friend GRANT TAYLOR and his incredible ability to tell stories in portraits.  The guy can sit in the grass with nothing but his 5D and a 50mm prime and make images that can move people.  That is amazing to me!   This is incredibly hard to do!  The goal seems unachievable when thinking about the true complexity of a persons personality.  Then to think that we have a grasp of what makes that person who they are is also probably false.  Just ask a true friend what they think about you and see if it meshes with your perception of yourself 🙂  Actually don’t do that it may not like what you hear.  After creating three portraits of three incredible people I can see success in the portraits but only through my eyes.  What I have decided is the portraits success to the photographer is solely based on the personal perception we have of the subject.  The way we see them is the definitive factor wether or not the photo succeeds and there is no way that we can truly understand someone completely.  So is it possible to wrap someones personality in one portrait?  NO  Is it possible to wrap our perception of a person in one photo?  I believe it is.  We just have to remember that our perceptions are most likely false.  These three succeed to me because when I look at them I can see Melcoms quick wit, Marcels kind heart, and Rians driven but gentle approach to guiding clients.   I plan to always create portraits of the people I run into throughout our travels and always keep pushing to make imagery that can transcend time and place.  I want to be able to make ,y experiences last longer than memory alone is capable of.  The clarity of memories have a shelf life.  Images do not.

Matt

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