It was once asked of me “. . .how do you make your images look like they do? you seem to capture every ounce of ugly possible in the human condition”. I took this as a compliment, when I approach photography and the subject I am shooting I am not interested in airbrushing the flaws, giving the gaussian blur effect, the dreamy eyes, the softened tones. I want the image you see to be the subject involved in what they do – riding a fine link between pleasure and pain. It’s my goal that you see the polar opposites of each subject during each shoot much the same as a “junkie” can be seen epic monumental highs and subsequent earth shattering lows. Seeing a photo subject dripping with sweat, bruised, bloodied and yet unbowed is to see a true artist in their conceptual element and pouring themselves at the feet of the audience member.
In my photographic journey its been very interesting to see how each person has different pain to show. Some pain manifests itself in weeping emotion, other pain is semi invisible and marks the heart, still other pain is physically present in the way of scars and surface damage. We try to often shield ourselves from the camera and prepare before a photo to make sure the elements of our pain are not visible. I prefer to move against this grain. A close up shot of dirty pores, the grit under the finger nails, the stubble, the smoke and the long unkempt hair – these are the characteristics that make a good photograph.
When I edit a photograph I have taken I remember not only the pain of the artist but the pain involved in taking the picture. Often when shooting in addition to carrying about 10 pounds of cameras around my chest, I am battling a mosh pit behind me, stepping and kneeling on broken glass, crouching for 20 minutes without standing, lunging forward, left and right just to get the shot needed. In the end, this physicality takes it’s toll and the body is racked with pain. On the long drive home from the venue I am often quite sore and stiff, I recall all the pain and try to save it to my memory banks and draw from it “creatively” when I edit the images the next day.