I stared at her lips for hours and realized that a photo is nothing without motion. Even with the hints of a stop-motion smile pushing skin into the crevice dimples lining the sides of her mouth, the fact that I couldn’t see her teeth made me anxious. The emotion was there in the unnatural state of frozen posing.
Most portraiture feels like a lie. I find myself feeling as if I am looking into the future… seeing a glimpse of the lifeless serenity that is found only after the careful hands of a delicate mortician have molded the features to appease the fragile viewers. There is an element of detachment I get, as if the subject is no longer of my time and space.
Less and less am I finding my inner voyeur satisfied by perusing aimlessly through photographs. Instead, I am left discomfited, like an awkward coroner; unsure and not quite numb to the job. Or else, faced with the conflicts of dysthanasia and questioning whether or not the subject is being kept alive by the existence of the photo in and of itself… nothing else.
What is lacking is the genuine spontaneity that is found in every unique face. When all else has failed and fallen directly into the predictability trap, an expressive face can change my whole mood. I don’t care if it’s pretty or symmetrical or tonally aesthetic… a photograph should be honest.
As I sat here writing of my discontent on the subject, I remembered my trademark blank stare. The one that washes over my face the second I sense a lens pointed in my general direction.
Hypocrisy… I has it.