Look at my face….what do you see?
As a photographer I like to challenge myself often and push past all levels of comfort in the quest for both inspiration and constant connection with my craft. That’s how I ended up face to face with the incredibly talented Craig George in the middle of the extremely foggy Brecon Beacon mountains of Wales last Wednesday. I’ve been working on trying to read male faces more as well as connecting with the photographic community here in the UK and if you want to feel uncomfortable, try practicing your art on another artist. Every move, every adjustment of the lens, every angle positioned, they know it before you’ve even finished the calculation – nerve wracking in the extreme and hard as hell. But satisfying…oh so satisfying!
So, look at his face – what do you see? I contacted Craig because from the moment I saw his profile on-line, I knew I had to photograph him. He has a look that speaks to my sensibilities and I knew that I would find great satisfaction in having him in front of the lens, but that’s the easy way out isn’t it? A man that dresses well and possesses such a tight sense of personal panache is almost like cheating – that is, it’s easy to shoot the external and not push past that which is so obviously apparent. Craig has classic hipster style and looks like he would be just as comfortable on the streets of Brooklyn as those of Swansea – that or Victorian London, take your pick – so taking him out into the woods was…interesting. There was a slight juxtaposition of place and person so I started there using his strong stylish looks and framing him with the forest’s natural architectural lines. Good. Good start. But is that really seeing? Does it tell you who Craig is?
Look harder, dig deeper, get in. Right…turn the light, and THERE…there it is. Found him! Craig is warm and open and funny and self possessed: he laughs easily on the outside yet studies himself internally often. He’s weary too – the artist himself, the lines of his trade are written on his face like the lines of fine poetry. Being an artist is hard – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is a constant exposure of oneself to critical survey and by necessity brings with it a constant cycle of crippling self doubt and ultimate conceit – these things take their toll, write themselves upon our persons, become a part of who we are. That’s what I saw, and what I hope I have captured here.
Thank you Craig, for coming along when you did and for being willing to open up for the sake of creativity. I can’t wait until our next collaboration – the first of many I hope.