In a world of photography which is huge and varied, with subjects and stories everywhere from suburban streets to war-torn photojournalism, almost nothing is off limits. The many photographic verities, techniques and styles will always make for an exciting art form for both creators and viewers alike. For me, portraiture is the one genre that I keep coming back to, both as a photographer and viewer. In portraiture, I find uniqueness and emotion, more than any other style. Unique, because every person is different and each can express that difference in so many ways; emotion, because nothing communicates more than our own bodies, faces and eyes.
There are many ways to execute a beautiful portrait, but I think chief amongst them is natural light. Apart from being free, by minimising additional artificial lighting technologies, it allows for a more straightforward shoot. Being able to see the light through the viewfinder allows more time to think about what’s important: composition, expression and pose. I think this casual and lightweight method is less intimidating and can create beautifully simple yet powerful images.
A striking exponent of this method is Aleksandra Patova, her beautiful portraits express everything that is best about using natural light. Aleksandra’s use of natural light has created, for me, a collection of images which are almost a signature and her understanding of shadow and dappled light to add dimension to her work is both enriching and enchanting. It quite simply elevates her portraits above so much of what I see and like.