I had the pleasure of visiting the Anneberg Space for Photography to see Timothy Greenfield Sanders Identity exhibit. I’ve always admired his work. I love the gravity of his portraits. Unlike what we tend to think of “Celebrity” portraiture he shoots all of his subjects as equals. The Sheriff of Dallas County Texas is given the same treatment and experience as a famous actor or director. In my work I aim for the same experience. To treat each person in front of my camera with the same importance.
In addition to his portraits he also began shooting interviews with his subjects which turned into a series of documentaries. As part of the exhibit there was a short video about his work that included some of his subjects talking about their experiences and struggles. One interview that struck a nerve with me was of Nicole Maines, a transgender activist that has been fighting for her rights since middle school.
The interview gave credence to the power of portraiture and it’s use to start a discussion. It also motivated me to continue making portraits of people.
When I shot this image of Claire a few months ago it reminded me of Timothy’s portraits. I hope to be able to shoot more like this.