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That Candid Moment before the Mask

perfect imperfection before the stage is set

​  Staging a portrait is literally that – putting someone on a stage to act out a role that portraits themselves. Just too aware of the camera and the attached intruder, any natural gesture gets banned behind masks that bear questionable resemblance to genuine human emotion.

To me, the epitome of portrait candidness is the short-lived obliviousness before the stage is set and it thrives on the imperfection of anticipating the "picture-perfect" moment.

"[…] portrait candidness is the short-lived obliviousness before the stage is set and it thrives on the imperfection of anticipating the 'picture-perfect' moment."

Once the subjects have put on their masks, it is difficult to get through to their real selves. But there are still ways to keep things honest and capture the perfect imperfection – the key is to be ready when authenticity resurfaces: with the shutter lying in wait or shooting away multiple frames, a candid moment in-between masks is waiting to happen.

Talk and humor help too. Using words to poke people in the right places will make them feel at ease and re-naturalize the set-up setting.

"While staged portraits can convey powerful emotions and sincere character traits, they are an invitation to imitate rather than actually feel."

While staged portraits can convey powerful emotions and sincere character traits, they are an invitation to imitate rather than actually feel. Candid portraits are curious about the very emotions felt in the moment the shutter snaps.

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Disposable Nature

 

Man emptying his convenience store

 

Walks into nature like a convenience store, grabs a bunch of animals and trees, a few liters of ocean, until the shelves are empty. see more

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The Street Around the Corner

tripping over nothing in everyday streets

 

Not imposing any art on them or desperately extrapolating some moxie that isn’t there, I strip their description down to only one statement and this is final: these are streets. see more