It’s an interesting discussion point. And it’s the defining factor of great portrait photographs. How should the photographer shoot their subject?
We’ve touched on this topic before. So it was intriguing to see Christoph Klauke’s approach in his new publication, Double Portraits.
As part of this project, Klauke photographed some famous figures, and some ordinary ones, including novelist Zadie Smith and architect David Adjaye, twice over. The first image was set up as Klauke wished. The second image was taken a few seconds later, as each subject attempted to maintain their facial expression. The idea, according to Creative Review, was to capture – through images which, at a superficial level, are very similar – different aspects of the subjects’ characters.
The first image is invariably more formal, more composed, more rigid. The second looks broadly similar, yet the subjects’ expressions are noticeably less guarded. They seem more settled and relaxed, and somehow more natural too. The differences between the images are certainly perceptible, even though it’s difficult to pin down precisely what they are. Klauke’s approach throws up questions regarding the subtlety with which we read facial expressions. Fascinating stuff. And the faces are all very interesting within themselves, too.
Have a look here for more information.