Portraits are beautiful. They tell a person’s story in a moment, a snapshot of a lifetime. The joy, pain, the thrills and fears, are all in the portrait, which is why it’s such a beloved type of photograph. But there’s also something about mystery that intrigues us. That’s why silhouettes carry such beauty in photography also. This is how my #portraitsilhouettes work came about.
My wife and I were flying back from our honeymoon in Italy. After an extremely long flight, I woke up, stretched and realized we were landing. Once solidly in L.A., I turned on my phone and looked to my left. My wife had opened the plane window. The light was blinding. And then my wife came to the rescue, as she often does. She shifted in her seat, blocking the light from hitting me. This was relief. And it was beautiful. I asked her to wait there. I took a shot with my phone and left it in the camera roll.
When I looked back at images from Italy, I had – as you can imagine – a lot of fun. Venice, Florence, Rome and a ton of other places in between? That’s beauty. But one shot struck me and inspired the #portraitsilhouettes series, the shot of my wife by that plane window. Eventually, I realized it was influencing other shots I’d take. That’s where the series began.
I also fell in love with this idea because it reminds me of my childhood. I don’t know if I was in first or second grade, but at some point in elementary school, every kid in the class had to do an art project using a silhouette of our side profile. These images remind me of that project. To me, these images offer something about the subject’s story, a snapshot of their lives, but it also provides some mystery and intrigue. Here are some of my portrait silhouettes.