I am photographing people for 35 years now and it has never been my intention to cause laughter with my portraits. Integrity comes first, always! To me integrity is a must, to protect those portrayed by me. I know I succeeded, it is confirmed and endorsed by critics of both my books.
The glamour of hidden beauty
I am not intentionally seeking for people who deviate from the so called standard norm, although I must confess, they do fascinate me. Where ever I go, peering over my glasses, looking for beauty in people, looking for happiness, I meet them.
It can be disputed, or called “typology” as typology seems to be the word in photography that is used whenever a theme is explored.
All these years I only wanted to show the world that there is more than “glamour and Glitter” photography, no matter how well it is done … there is another beauty. A beauty that sometimes is hidden deep inside.
Often these are people who were less endowed in the distribution of genes in the womb than many others. Throughout the years I developed a keen eye for this hidden beauty and I can feel that beauty. I can see the happiness in them and I feel the warmth and love in how they treat me.
Usually they are very well aware that they are different and have accepted it, or resigned to their fate. They cherish the care of companions and mentors and thank for what they do have and get.
Sometimes they are sad and sometimes the side effect of medication are visible. And usually there is that arm around them, that loving and caring look in the eyes from whoever is giving the arm and again, usually sadness and dreariness turn into a hearty laugh and fun.
Observation and moral of the story
Because of my physical problems you can find me on terraces, in pubs and other hangouts where you can eat and drink. I can observe it all from my chair, just as I would do in the streets. Photography is a good eye for things and mastering the art of omission.
Peering over my glasses I observe my surroundings, snapshots for fine moments and every now and then when I see a characteristic head, I get up and pop the question … “ Can I…?”
Usually the answer is a definite yes and I have another portrait for my extensive archive.
I often see people go sit at a table, quickly discuss their order and then it all stops, they don´t look at each other anymore, they don´t talk anymore, they sigh and look at their watches. Dressed in expensive outfits, a 50.000 euro car and not a single bit of happiness … at least, I don´t see it.
Some conversation, having some fun? No idea what that is? Perhaps a course “laughing” would be an idea?
I know all too well that everybody have their own problems and worries and yet … I don´t think that going out and having some fun, always brings that fun.
The moral is that sometimes I would like to introduce those people to the ones that I take portraits of. People, I have met, who have fun, who do laugh with each other despite a sometimes miserable situation. People with that inner beauty, who still cuddle each other. I know many of them would be delighted to give that course “Laughing”.
Some other twirly thoughts I write down. Whether it will be read? Will it change anything? I don´t know but if only 2 of those fancy dressed people start to realize something, I am happy.