Edward Weston on “Portraits in Photography”

“…to reveal the individual before his camera, to transfer the living quality of that individual to his finished print…Not to make road maps but to record the essential truth of the subject; not to show how this person looks, but to show what he is.” – Edward Weston

I searched through my albums looking for an image that would work well with this quote. The image of the Black Horse worked the best. It was a moment, I think, when I saw in to this horse, beyond the façade of being a Sable Island horse; the true wild spirit of this horse came out and showed itself on print.

One can find this hidden depth in people through looking. Sit across a small table from the person to be photographed. You have the camera in hand. Waiting. Through looking at this person, with a little chatting, you will make a connection. At some point the person stops looking at the camera, to them the camera has gone, and they will look right at you. At that point, and it may take time, the true character of that person comes through. One click of the shutter is all it takes. I tried this approach when photographing a teenager in a group home. She never really came through. And then, just as I was to leave, my friend started to comb her hair and she came out. For privacy reasons I can’t show the photograph but the story makes the point that through looking, and with patience, you will see.


Black horse Sable Island


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