Photography seems to be ubiquitous these days, perhaps we have embarked on a Visual Age. In the same way that everyone knows how to cook, everyone is essentially a photographer and we are all communicating more visually.
With pictures and icons seemingly everywhere, new stories are rarely told without some visual reference. Since everyone has a story and we are Generation DIY (do-it-yourself), the easiest way to update our status in the world is often without words and at the push of a button. That being said, where is the professional and how do you stand out as an individual amongst all the noise and streaming chaos?
My work focuses on making signature images that cut through the visual noise in order to capture a quiet moment. Since I was a boy I’ve always been the kid with the camera and I started by making portraits of my friends. I often push into my subjects’ space to get them to be more present and I’m intrigued by the dialogue that occurs when someone with a strength of character, yet also an honest vulnerability is confronted by my camera.
During my recent pro bono project for Flashes of Hope, I photographed child survivors of Cancer in the Bronx. Throughout my long editorial career, one of the hardest subjects to photograph has been children who don’t want to smile. Many of these young kids portrayed fear but each of their innocent faces told me there is always hope, even under the most dire circumstances. Looking into these small, yet courageous eyes, I was deeply moved by their stoic poise. One young girl, who would never before remove her hat, posed bravely, with her sixteen year old friend, together bald in tenacious solidarity. Since we’re living in the fast lane of New York City, we often need to be reminded of the fragility of life and to live it to the fullest.
As professionals we learn to build trust with people so they will open their hearts for the world to see. It’s a big responsibility to find these moments, or to create them with integrity, and I’m always grateful to share my gifts with the world.
“Ten Mavericks”, by Michael Weschler, a series of etched-glass portraits of famous men, will be on display at the Flomenhaft Gallery in Chelsea, from March 5 to April 25, 2015.