Tuesday, May 27, 2014


"If you are on a beach and you notice a face, or a body, that stands out from the crowd, the sight of which makes your heart leap in your breast, then stop. If your feeling is honest and sincere, it will help you find the right words. Who knows what could then come from such a meeting?" - David Hamilton

I like to create beautiful images. And the most beautiful thing in the world is, in my opinion, the human body. Not necessarily any human body, but particular human bodies. I don't know to what extent that appreciation is fueled by sexual attraction, but sometimes I wish that that didn't have anything to do with it at all, because it would be so much simpler that way. But even if there is a sexual element involved (and I can't honestly say for sure that there isn't a connection), it is not a rapacious kind of predatory sexuality, but more of a romantic, erotic appreciation of the physical aspect of sensuality.

When I encounter beauty of this nature, it's not like I'm even thinking about sex or doing anything sexual. I am, rather, trapped in a state of awe - a kind of rapture. All I can think is how beautiful the sight before me is, and how much I want to immortalize it - to protect it from the inevitable decay of entropy, and the ever constant motion of reality - in the only way I know how: photography. It's not just the body, though - it's the moment I want to immortalize. The sight and situation that caught my attention, and my breath. In a way, maybe it's my own reaction I want to immortalize - because my photography is a way of expressing myself, of showing the world what I find beautiful. And I would hope that the way I approach my photography and my subjects, other people would be able to pick up on that, and see what I see, and perhaps find beauty where they might not have found it before.

Beauty is not simply an object, but an interactive experience. And the body is not the only thing I want to document. I like to think that my self-portrait photography does not only document my body, but also shows glimpses into my personality, my personhood. Although it is a fallacy to think that you can actually know someone just by looking at a series of split-second glimpses of their life, it is nevertheless true that knowledge of the personhood of the subject of a photograph can lend weight and depth to the image before your eyes, and I want very much not just to document beautiful bodies, but to get to know the people who inhabit them. Some of them may not even realize how beautiful they are. But regardless, their experiences have the power to humanize the images that are created of them.

But, alas, whenever I encounter a beautiful creature in the wild, I am left speechless and dumbstruck, with the inability to make even the slightest approach, much less a suggestion of participation in the artistic voyage I would like to embark upon. Added to that is the fear that in spite of my sincerity and integrity, the sort of suggestion I would like to proffer is too far outside the lived experiences of the average citizen, and is of the sort that is commonly viewed with much suspicion in these dark days, that I could not possibly be taken seriously, and that my humble request to document the beauty of another could offend the subject of my admiration, potentially to a severe degree.

I wish I could say these things to every beautiful stranger I meet.

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