Why I Shoot People So Close

June 21, 2018


...I shoot people closely, I mean real close, only few centimeters from their face to my camera. But why I want to do it ? Why I shoot people so close ?

First my camera is a 28mm wide angle camera so I have no choice but to be real close if I really want to do some close-up portrait. But this doens’t explain why I want to do it with this gear and why so close. I could take their portrait from a longer distance and give more environment to my pictures. But I don’t. I just do it when I am using my film cameras. A Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens and a medium format, a Pentax 67 with a lens at around 46mm (35mm lens equivalent) or a Rolleiflex.

I am not a guy that talk so much, I am kind of misanthrope usually, I don’t like very much the human kind. But when I shoot with my little Ricoh, I tend to forget everything, I am not me anymore, I start to be somebody else. And this new person is anger of interaction with people, although it is very difficult as still, a part of myself is so angry at mankind. And somehow I believe this belief takes form and I imagine that people can see or feel it. It may sounds strange but that’s the case. I have the feeling that people can see the truth inside of me.

So the fact to shoot them so closely is a real challenge to myself. For a moment I am pushing the boundaries, the upper limit to my state of mind and finally, in a way, take their souls with me. Yes taking their souls to feed mine, to satisfy myself. It is a kind of vampiric action but of course with no pain except for my shyness. Yes I think this is the main reason of  me taking so close pictures of people, try stealing their souls !

It is challenging also from a photographic perspective, as you should avoid taking a picture that looks like a picture you have taken for an ID for exemple ; it forces me to try to be more creative, even I don’t succeed so much, the fact that I am only practicing is sufficient for my purpose as explained above.

Recently I have changed attitude towards this, as now I’m adding a flash to my photographic set-up. In the end I am not so close as I used to do like before but still quiet close. I think the result is even more radical. I have set-up my camera and my flash so all the background is black and only the people faces are appearing, I think it serves even better the original purpose. So I am kind of mixing two projects, Hello you ! and Flashup that you can see on the website. Maybe I should create another project called Flash you.