Influences

My degree has left me with a greatly widened knowledge of photography and photographers. The work of some, for example Darcy Padilla and Eugene Richards, have been important benchmarks when I have been photographing people. Am I close enough? Am I listening enough? Am I blinking in the face of the truth? If I go home and consider my images next to theirs and feel I am half way to them, then I am doing okay. Other photographers have influenced in other ways, not necessarily with their style of image making or honest representation of their subjects, but more with how they use photography as a vehicle to express themes or ideas. The Dutch photographer, Rineke Dijkstra, has produced bodies of work which deal with physical and mental states of inbetweeness. In-between childhood and adulthood. In-between a composed, self aware expression for the camera, and something more natural. Dijkstra explored the former theme in a series of pictures made at the beach, a place which in itself is between spaces. For the latter theme, Dijkstra photographed young matadors just after they came out of the ring, and in doing so hoped to record traces of who they were in the ring before their faces reset into who they become for the camera.

 

 

Rineke Dijkstra is one of the photographers whose work is in the forefront of my mind when I am working on commercial jobs. Her work for me represents where I can bring my art degree studies into my daily life, which, recently, has involved a lot of family photography shoots. Like Dijkstra, I am interested in in-between states. Unlike Dijkstra though, when I am working it is because I know a relaxed face is less wary, less composed, and more likely to find favour with the parents who pay me. So I look for ways to invoke a pose or expression which is neither too posed, or too loose.

 

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