Real makes me happy
I’m an introvert. I’ve always found interacting with people, particularly en masse hard. It’s actually the single biggest contributing factor to me pursuing photography when I was younger. Back before digital, you could be the person in the corner of a room without anyone thinking you were odd and with no one expecting interaction from you if you held an SLR.
Maybe that’s how I got drawn into music photography; Music photography is actually very isolated work. You stand in the pit (the precious space between stage and audience) by yourself, you view three songs of an artist or band through the blinkers of a lens and then you are escorted out into a quiet city street an hour and a half before the audience will follow.
I thought I was afraid of people. It turned out that introverts just don’t like chit chat. We like real. We want to conserve our energy and not waste it on the version of you that you want us to see. We want to talk to the real you or not at all.
It took me years to become aware of this fact but once I had it became the biggest influence on my work. Figuring out how to cut to the ‘real’ of people was a challenge but so rewarding when you achieved it. It makes for more interesting, more compelling, more emotive images. And as it turned out, when I’m one on one with someone for a portrait, I’m not so introverted, and I’m happy.
This series was photographed for REA Group. I shot over 150 portraits; From the CEO to the folks in the call centre, from the coolest nerds in the world who build the Group’s websites to the shiny Sales folk. I had the luxury of a top 100 ASX listed company wanting ‘real’ portraits.
REA Group is proof corporate can be cool.