The blue hour is here, the sweet light, the twilight. The blue colors are scattered through the air. We are done shooting what we planned to. Stephanie is still here. We don’t have anywhere to go anytime soon. I have to take some portraits of her. Not doing it would be a waste of light. A waste of an opportunity to keep her portrait. The mood was already set by the pictures we took before. With not much direction, I snap a couple of up front, straight forward portraits.
The scarf Stephanie is using to protect herself from the chill becomes a subject too. She plays around with it, she plays different characters.
Today, I look at the portraits on my screen. I wonder: what is our fascination to look at somebody else’s face? Portraits are all about people. And, people usually love people. But, are portraits about the subject of the image or are they about you and I?
The portraits look back at us, like an observant image, interrogating us. They seem to say:
– This is me.
– Who are you?
Portraits connects us to the humanity in people we don’t know and will probably never get to meet. But they also connect us with our own humanity. They seem to remind us we are all in this together. With our good and bad days, with our hopes and fears.
Through portraits we can look at strangers straight into their eyes observing every little detail, wrinkle, and angle. We can get lost in their gaze and wonder how their life is like, how they are feeling in that particular moment, we can feel compassion or shared joy.
Ultimately, what matters is the felt experience that we get to meet someone, through an image. We get to feel our shared humanity.