Benjamin Von Wong posted a link to a list of the top ten travel portrait photographers yesterday. An incredible collection of images from some of the best such as Lee Jeffries and Steve McCurry, fabulous, iconic images. But it was Ben's question to himself that triggered a nerve and some thoughts, he asked whether people thought he should shoot much closer in and capture more of people's faces.
It made me think about our primary role as a photographer - to tell a story.
Now I believe that Ben's work tells incredible, vast fantastical stories, always. They are a reflection of his imagination and being and scrolling through his work or instagram feed you can view and see the development and growth of his vision.
What I wonder is whether we worry too much about too many things, pre-conceived notions of the person or how we want them to look, how we are going to light it, where we will shoot it from, the background, the colors, and the final image in our heads already, and sometimes, just sometimes I think we forget there is someone on the other end of the lens.
That person has a story to tell, that we must be open to hear and receive it. But that is also our delicate dance, between how we see the person and how they see and perceive themselves. But really we both want the same thing, not just in the photograph, but as an experience to connect with another human being. Get this right and not only to do we connect with the subject, but the resulting image also connects with the viewer.
And what magic it truly is to connect with another human.