When I look at photos, and when I'm taking photos, I often think about what is going through the minds of the subjects. I shoot a lot of weddings, and those are such emotional days. Happiness, hope, love, nostalgia, anxiety, are all emotions that are experienced that day, and what I strive to capture in my images. With portraits too, there's so much emotion within a person during their portrait sitting. What are they thinking about? Posing for a portrait is such an intimate time between a subject and a photographer (one that I'm so blessed to experience), and those raw emotions are often so beautiful and make their portrait them.
I was just thinking about that today... What do our photos say about us? What secrets from within are we giving away when someone takes our photo?
One of my very favorite photographers is Diane Arbus. I love her because she made her life's work about photographing the people and things that would, at her time, otherwise never be photographed. She photographed what most people looked past and often didn't notice (or tried not to). She photographed the people who were deemed socially unacceptable. Her photographs are so honest and real. Looking at the photos I like to think that I can see what they're feeling while being truly looked at by their photographer, who appreciates them, rather than people who were instantly judging them, but I don't know what secrets their holding within. The pain and the hope are there, definitely, but the more I look, the less I know about them.
I guess that's why I love her photographs, and photographs in general. The ability to show so much is always possible when snapping a photo. But showing what a person is feeling, what they're holding back within themselves is not always easy. Each photograph holds its own secrets, and we, as viewers and photo-takers, can only begin to try to unravel them.