Self Revelation

My intention is not to make people pretty in my images, but instead to expose the complexity of our existence. Yesterday, I worked on two sets of images of two different people. One just a portrait; candid images of a young filmmaker artist who visited my studio one day, and the other, nudes of a man I have been having a conversation with on line for several years now. When I finished the images I sent digital proofs to both of the subjects, which I rarely do. Since the ones were candid, it didn’t seem to matter, but the other was from out of town and has been bugging me to see the images since they were taken a couple of weeks ago. Both responses to the images were fairly negative. And I am reminded why I do not share these images on line as such a cold exposure. The process of creating images truly is a collaboration of the artist and the subject. This final presentation of the vision should be no less so. Images are not just created to be tossed out there; instead it becomes a process of self–revelation. Often times there is a shock quality to see ourselves photographed in ways we don’t necessarily envision. We often cannot look beyond the negative qualities of all the things we are dissatisfied about. I also struggle with seeing images of myself, so identify with that feeling well. When subjects are able to come back into the studio and look at the images with the artist they see them through each other’s eyes. This leads to a greater understanding of the perceptions and intentions behind the creation of those images. Some subjects do not hit it on the first round and have to settle into the uneasiness of the stripping away of their emotional apprehension to get to a place of comfort and security. Working as collaboration is an easier way to approach the viewing of these self-images. It then becomes a process of elimination together to get to the core of the experience. In the end, I am looking for a few images that honestly represent what we both shared, but we must separate the others to get to that core. Anyone can create a pretty image of someone else, and it is not my intention to be like everyone else. Each of my images is a journey into myself and my subject, for the subject is always closer to me and how I examine myself then they often realize. These are reflections of the self: revealed.

4 thoughts on “Self Revelation

  1. Beach Bum

    >Interesting post! I find it fascinating how subjects respond to photos. Because the vision of the photographer may reveal something that the subject might prefer to keep hidden.

    Nice work!

  2. Dave C

    >That would have been an interesting process to go through with my pictures Terry! Your work is time intensive my friend.

  3. Marklin

    >Fascinating post Terry I thought only painters went through this. Most people never like to look at themselves the way a artist sees them, I find the flaws in people far more beautiful then anything else. Not that your work is ever flawed, you just have a way of forcing us to look at what you see in a "polished rawness that is breathtaking.

  4. Terry J Cyr Photography

    >Marklin, you are right, artist do see others differently because they are looking through the lens of themselves. I don't really see anyone as having flaws, but it is the unique differences that I want to explore with this project. To help people see the remarkable qualities in them selves that are hidden or overlooked.

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