Sean Kernan On Portraiture

“So what is your obligation to your subject? A successful portrait does not smooth them out. You can’t necessarily see all their facets, but you can sense them. It is like a sheet with lumps under it that tell you something is there. And I certainly want both to make and to look at portraits with the marks of the life that the person has led. The clearer that evidence, the better the portrait. ”

."..For those being photographed, portraiture is essentially about vanity. We want to be told that we are in some way attractive, almost desirable, still young and of value. Anything less is disturbing. We hope for flattery. And all the time we are looking for the wrong thing. We should want clues to our own truth.”

Excerpt From: Sean Kernan. Looking Into The Light, 2014.