– With the photography of Melissa Cacciola, it was interesting how the connotations of a portrait could differ with the addition of another image presented as a diptych. Cacciola captures warfare with a human side to it by photographing the individual in both an army uniform and normal, casual clothing.
Rather than photographing two faces, it makes more sense to make an association with the second photograph. This way I can take an image of an individual who is isolated in his / her work, and then sequence it with another image of an isolated landscape.
The real artistic license will come with the direction of the portrait, if the individual seems at ease, then the photograph will not reveal the isolation, but the second photograph, if carried out correctly, will make the portrait seem isolated.
Certain questions could be asked to the individual in order to find the right person for the photograph. Furthermore, when someone approaches you with a sheet of paper to ask you questions, it takes away some of the mystery of a stranger approaching you, and maybe make them more at ease. I’d ask questions like…
Are you a student?
Do you have a job?
Would you do set work at home rather than going out?
Do you enjoy going out at night?
Simple questions that might provoke a certain response in the photograph
A portrait needs to convey the right connotations for the project, so the direction of the subject is incredibly important. Photographing someone smiling provides the connotations that everything surrounding them is perfect, but the natural human response wouldn’t be that simple. Without smiling in a photograph it reveals more about someone, because it takes away the socially accepted convention and replaces it with a tailored response by an individual.
Alec Soth is known for getting more out of his subjects, making a story behind an image when they don’t smile. I drew most inspiration through his portraits for my project because his subjects gave the impression of isolation and each image looks pleasing through composition, colour and lighting.