“Thoughts about my work…”

“Lovely simple idea, Roy, beautifully executed.” This comment was left on the attached image of my model’s hands that I had posted on LinkedIn. The image was taken just before we had begun our work this day. I am punctual about beginning and ending a shoot on time, and yet I also love shooting spontaneously, and as I have said other times in my blog posts, I consider my style instinctive and visceral, and much of my portraiture, particularly that of “Dark Poetry”, is retro-Romantic. I don’t have elaborate plans or schedules, I don’t use stylists and hairdressers, I don’t have a “team”, I wouldn’t know what to do with a team except go for a pint! I’m really a Blue-Collar fine-art photographer, most of my life I was a laborer, and I think I bring a direct, perhaps blunt, style to my work, I want it to be easily understood with the eyes, and perhaps the heart, with some images. These sensibilities served me well as a photojournalist and documentary photographer, where unvarnished truth is paramount, and yet I work the same way with my fine-art portraiture, I do not use PS, I do not “retouch” my work, i’m not even sure what that means and I don’t want to know! I am uncomfortable with color, even though I have two posts on LinkedIn in a toned color, I do not have any on my website. Color detracts from what you are trying to say with an image!

I viewed the work of another photographer today, a well known French photographer, and of course it made me compare it to my own, not the images, but the philosophy behind his work. If you view a great portion of someone’s work, as if going through their website, you can see the philosophy behind what they are saying and trying to communicate. I don’t view my work as complex, I don’t view photography as complex, I want my work to be straightforward, I want it to be easily apprehended and understood, and most importantly, I want it to be “felt”, with no confusion about what I am saying with an image. The images from my street, documentary and photojournalism reflect what I think is important to show the viewer. The portrait work from “Dark Poetry” reflects what I think personally is beautiful, seductive, provocative. I am showing the viewer who I am, what I believe is significant, how I feel about a variety of things. I take pride now in revealing who I am through my work, but in the beginning it was daunting, I believe I used the expression in the past that you are “betraying” who you are very intimately through your photography.
This has become long, I will post it today! Thank you to all of my subscribers for inspiring me to understand what I am doing and trying to say through my work. RG