I was reflecting today on the balance between the narratives we assign to portraits and whether or not those fleeting moments are often just as delicate and honest as a long-term relationship. I believe the depth and sincerity of any relationship is built on fantasy and is subjective but a snippet of a second when capturing a stranger can often be intense and mysterious. Sometimes I prefer not knowing too much about my subjects. Humans continue to fascinate and intrigue me but there’s something beautiful about taking a portrait with little communication and interaction too. A mutual understanding and interaction.
This portrait was taken in Texas when this gentleman and myself crossed an abandoned car park. The heat was brutal and his gold tooth and heavy jewellery glimmered against his all black suit. He was beaming a cool and dashing smile and walked with an air of content with a superhuman ability to not feel the baking heat. We spoke for a little bit but the more I go to know him the less I wanted to ask more questions. I loved his mystery and the coincidental collision that had united us. I wanted to leave with a multitude of possibilities to his story. We talked and shot for about half an hour maybe more, I lost track of time and he seemed unaware it existed. He was gentle, calm and quiet; it was borderline awkward which I loved.
There are also scenes I capture just to remind myself of the essence of a place I am in. I’m always drawn to old games room, social clubs and cafes. It’s not just people it can be the ambience, atmosphere and unpredictable vibe. There’s a challenge of being curious without intruding. These scenes are here to remind me of the noises, smells and banter. I am present but also know I want to lock the memory away to recall the moments where I feel happy to be roaming.
I’m in Arles and the mosquitos are as hungry as ever. It’s a total rarity that I write things like this here but I want to say a few thank yous. Thanks to those that supported me with the HSBC award and enjoyed the flow of events that came with it, the cocktails, book signings etc.- it’s been great fun. Also a random thanks to (https://www.usbmemorydirect.com) who sent me a bunch of 'personalized flash drives' – check them out, as it seems like a nifty way to send your pics to editors and clients etc. with a personal touch …
So back into the heat and to vouch never to drink rose again for 2 hours