ERIC, 2012 (from B+W Portrait Series), Crown Graphic 4x5, Arista EDU Ultra 100
I’ve been working on a black and white portrait series for about a year. I’m attempting to photograph the people who have played an important roll in shaping who I am. This includes friends, family, teachers, etc.
I’ve found this project to be quite a bit more difficult than I had originally anticipated it being. I’m trying to pair each person’s headshot with an environment that represents them to me. This is the difficult part. How do I represent the people closest to me? What if I don’t represent them in a way they’re comfortable being represented? What if I feel like I can’t figure out how to represent them the way I want to represent them?
This project is really making me think quite a bit about how I can tell a visual story. How can I tell a viewer about what this person means to me in two images? This is the first image I have taken for this series in 2012, and I can already see a major improvement from the previous images I shot in the series.
Eric is one of my best friends. We met in high school and bonded over talking about music, playing music, and going to band shows. So when I think of Eric, I think of music. But what I see is much more. I see a quiet kid full of poetry, full of ambition, full of love, full of a million different things. And that’s what I’ve attempted to show. I’m proud of the image. Does it tell the full story that I want it to? I’m sure not every person will take the same meaning from it, but I think I’m getting close. Because this is what I see when I see Eric. And I’m proud of that.