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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book


Presence is a word used too often by art critics. So much so that it has become a catchall phrase to describe many kinds of images.

The word “presence” for me, personally, implies an experience the image gives, which is both immediate, emotional, and intimate, kind of in-your-face.

If any of you have photographed in foreign countries, or even in the U.S., you have surely become surprised, delighted, and possibly annoyed, by the picture you were trying to do of one or two children suddenly changing into a dozen or more kids, each screaming for your attention.

When this happens to me, I often accept the growing cluster of kids for what they are, an enthusiastic, honest relation to a “new” kind of person.

Sometimes, though, after I shoot the growing group, I pantomime to them to settle down and I take pictures of each kid, individually. That seems to make everyone happy.

This kid stayed behind after all the others left.

She was quite shy and yet seemed to want attention.

So I concentrated on her and did this extreme close-up in which she communicates everything and nothing. I’m sure she had no idea how eloquent she was, visually.

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