Cat Gwynn is my kind of photographer. Cat's love and passion for her work comes through in every portrait. The images have an intimacy and emotional impact that is often lost in the commercial world of portraiture. Its rewarding and inspiring to see technique mixed with art to produce subtle and beautiful images. Here are some photographs from her series "Seen" as well as a short interview with the talented Ms. Gwynn. Enjoy...
1) I love the intimacy of your portraits. What's the mood you try to establish when doing these portraits?
More than mood or atmosphere, I am in search of emotional authenticity in the portraits I make. These pictures come from a larger portrait series I’m currently shooting called, “Seen”, where my aim is to get to the heart of the subject and access an undeniable presence where each individual, no matter their age, gender or station in life, is truly seen. I believe photographic intimacy is cultivated by a willingness to be vulnerable; where the trust between the model and myself is apparent.
2) I also dig your lighting. What’s your secret?
It’s Agnostic’s light; open shade with a reflective bounce.
3) If you were given unlimited funds to buy any five items at the museum of your choice, what would you buy?
What a delectable question! Being that I am showing portraits here, I’ll choose some of my favorite museum portraits.
- “Truman Capote” by Irving Penn (1965)
- “Edouard & Marie” by John Singer Sargent (1881)
- “Lucky Adam” from the “Bloody Heads” series by Llyn Foulkes (1985)
- “The Lovers” by René Magritte (1928)
- “A Woman in the Sun” by Edward Hopper (1961)
4) Who are your biggest photographic influences that are not known for their photography?
It’s funny, most of my photographic influences are not photographers. This isn’t to say that certain photographers don’t inspire me, but actually I spend far more time with my own photographs than I do looking at other people’s photographs. My work tends to influence my own work. But that aside, I can genuinely say one of my main creative influences is the dharma (the teachings of the Buddha) both as a mindfulness practice to keep me rooted in the here and now, which of course is a key attribute in capturing picture-worthy moments, and also the philosophical essence greatly influenced my two interconnected book projects: “Hungry – The Insatiable State of America”, and “Omnivore – One Nation Undervalued”, where rather than just document the visible decline of our nation, instead I focus more on the darker emotional underpinnings (greed, hatred and delusion) that have allowed our current crisis’ (economical, environmental and spiritual) to happen. No matter what I shoot – stories, portraits, landscapes… I am looking for and inspired by truth.
Thank you Cat Gwynn.
To see more of Cat's work visit her website www.catgwynnphotos.com
Photos Copyright: Cat Gwynn