“Portrait Photography and Intimacy”
Portraits, I believe, should be up-close and personal. Hence my use of a short tele lens which shows the face – and especially the eyes, the windows of the subject’s Soul. (And they should show the whole head, for cutting off the subject’s head actuates in our unconscious the feeling that the person has been the victim of an attack.)
Portraits taken with a shorter lens show so much more: the person in his environment. This is of course very interesting and relevant as it gives us an idea of how he lives, of what he does. But we do not Know as much about him, the real self revealed through his face. Think of the difference between say Karsh and Cartier-Bresson.
So often I’ve found that those that want to keep the subject at a distance have an Intimacy problem – they don’t want to be close and personal, preferring to keep their distance, always reserved. From them we learn more of the subject, but Know less of him. Whenever I’ve helped such a photographer with his Intimacy problem, the more deeply – the less timidly – he relates to his loved ones and his subjects.
And photography is all to do with the art of relationship.