Many times in society we let our preconceived ideas determine how we characterize a person rather than taking the time to get to know who they truly are. As a photographer it’s my job to capture the true essence of my subjects and ensure I don’t frame them in a way that would cause the viewer to misconstrue their character. This process of understanding your subject is something that I was inspired by famous photojournalist, Gordon Parks, to do. Parks would spend days and sometime weeks with the people he photographed to ensure that what he composed was true to the story they wanted to tell. Although I don’t have the time to spend days or weeks with one person, I did take the time to understand each person as best as I could. Beside each portrait you will see a note in which they answered the question, “Instead of paying attention to the things you own or your physical attributes, what do you feel people should pay attention to? What do you value most about yourself?” After they wrote these notes we talked about why they said what they did, and I proceeded to compose the shot. The portraits are tight with the faces of each person lit only by a constant light and a reflector. The golden hue that these elements provide give a feeling of warmth, and the tight shot offers you a moment of intimacy with each portrait. In this moment, in the softness of their eyes, and in the beautiful imperfections of their beings I hope you are able to see who they truly are.

Optimistic

Digital Image, Nikon D7500, March 2019

Joyful

Digital Image, Nikon D7500, March 2019

Hardworking

Digital Image, Nikon D7500, March 2019

Loyal

Digital Image, Nikon D7500, March 2019

Resilient

Digital Image, Nikon D7500, March 2019

Passionate

Digital Image, Nikon D7500, March 2019

This series is the last series I completed as a Fine Arts student at UNC Charlotte. It is a culmination of my focus on studio lighting and study of the communicative qualities of a simple portrait; two things I'd been developing over my 4 years of undergrad.

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