When we hear the word portrait we think of a face, eyes and a smile. To stir things up a bit we challenged our Lowepro Storytellers with the mission of capturing a “faceless” portrait. Many emotions were created with this challenge. Personal objects were used to tell a story. We found ourselves wanting to see more and to know more about the faces we weren’t able to see.
After an incredible day of fly fishing in the Eastern Sierras, we walked through fields of buttercups and traversed the mountain-fed streams to head back towards camp. In school they will teach you the rule of thirds, and tell you that the eyes need to be tac sharp… and a host of other things that will make you feel like your images are unsuccessful if you don’t follow instruction to the letter. I loved this challenge, and I say forget the rules!
My friend Federico has several tattoos of faceless portraits. This one had always intrigued me, especially because I was met with hesitation when asked its meaning. Now knowing its deeply personal nature, I appreciated him opening up about this difficult period in his life.
“It’s always me in my tattoos. This was my first one, at a time when I was really questioning my life – wondering if the things I was doing were based on rational thinking or ruled by my emotions. The stormy water represents my inner emotional world, and a sturdy boat is the rational engineer side of myself. Life seems to be a continuous struggle navigating between these two elements, and I’m still trying to find my way.”
As part of a community celebration of the town’s Centennial, I was commissioned to photograph a cross section of the town’s more notable characters. Perhaps I took the word cross section too literally on this one, but as Otto Phanschmitt does stand six-foot-eight inches tall, it was suggested that we capture this brilliantly eccentric Salmon Arm artist from the waist down. He relented, saying that was all most people saw of him anyway.
Pentax 6×7, Ilford HP5 400 Plus film, Takumar 75mm lens, Aperture: 4.5, Shutter: 1/30
Missing Yellowstone. We shot there in October and the conditions were perfect with very little crowds. My Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW holds everything I need. I also appreciate the quality and comfort hauling my gear to each location.
This is actually a double-faceless portrait since Kylo Ren (from the recent Star Wars movies) wears a mask, which I then shrouded deep in shadow for a more ominous effect. I photographed this in the darkness of my garage and created the fog effect by throwing flour into the scene. Continuous colored lighting was used to tint the scene in green and orange.
Timor-Leste has had a tumultuous past. It was colonized by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, then invaded by the Indonesians in the 1970’s and finally, after centuries of foreign rule and following a United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, gained its sovereignty in 1999. Christened “Asia’s diamond in the rough”, the people of this scarred, fledgling nation continue to strive for recognition as they carve out a place in the world for themselves. I visited Timor-Leste in 2009 and again in 2010 to document the philanthropic work of a Singapore-based NGO; it was during my second visit that I made this photograph in one of Dili’s markets. For me, this image – with the sunlight dancing behind the silhouette of a faceless woman – reminds me of the beauty that endures beneath the scars in one of Asia’s poorest nations.
This is a self-portrait I did a few weeks ago. My friends always ask me why do I wear my sunglasses backward? The truth is ever since I’ve started doing this little trick, I’ve never lost or misplaced them. When I need them I know exactly where they are!
This faceless portrait is ironical of one of the most beautiful models I have ever shot. On this day we spent exploring the area around Malibu Creek in search of ways to make our imagery feel enchanted and whimsical for an editorial piece which this was an outtake from. In this moment I was above the model on a bridge and she turned to walk away. Her red hair against the lush green of the creek bed was such a wonderful contrast. The movement of her body blending into the natural surrounding and lending movement to the photo. Faith was a dancer and this spoke to how graceful she moves even in difficult situations like this. So in a way, her portrait was captured in the essence of how she painted herself within the frame. I was just lucky enough to capture it.