I have now photographed six people for this assignment, so between the 197 images, one would have thought that I should have managed to collect enough options to make an assignment. However, I am not sure that I have. Only two of all the ones I have made seem to have the visual aesthetic I want, and they are these two.
In both, there is a clear visual dialogue going on between the subjects and the camera (or rather me, standing behind the camera) and a slight sense of movement. Rampant perfectionism has now set in and I am not completely satisfied with even these two. The first looks a bit clothes cataloguey, and I’d like to reshoot the second with a long lens to bring out some more clarity. In none of the other 195 images is what I want apparent. Steve’s look uncomfortable, but to be fair I didn’t give him much time to relax. John’s are too far away, and the idea of photographing him in front of the sign has not worked as I had hoped. Amanda has “posed” for all her photographs and they feel too static. Talis’s ones are better and do express her personality, but there is no movement in them. However, one of these might be a possibility.
There is an image in Sternfeld’s Strangers Passing series that keeps coming back to me, and this is the sort of visual language I am attempting to achieve, albeit with a different subject. The woman has obviously agreed to have her photo taken, but the effect is of a glance of acknowledgement and agreement rather than an obviously posed shot.
So, where to, now? I have agreed a reshoot with John, and will have to see whether I can inveigle a couple of the others to let me photograph them. I need to press on, as I am falling badly behind.