My friend Mike has an extraordinary aura about him - one of calmness and absolute peace - this is what I intended to capture about him with this somewhat retro monotone and soft image. His profile ,well thats just a opportunistic photographers delight .
The Stance is a three-phase project that looks at skater culture and the various environments in which skaters congregate. Much of my work explores notions of unconscious expression and the vulnerability of existing within a group or at the margins of a group. For me, the skater typifies both extremes of this existence.
Many skaters speak of a solitary mind space while skating; of zoning into another state of consciousness. To make these portraits, I asked the skaters to place themselves within this meditative space. When our minds begin to wander, we lose touch with our conscious actions. Such states of being can be both revealing and confronting when looking at photographic images of ourselves.
This image was taken one evening while on holidays with my family. My father Robin has always been one of my favourite people to photograph because he has a great face and that rare ability to be really truthful and connected while looking down the lens.
He is a very important person in my life and probably the wisest, most individualistic and most compassionate people I know. It's these features in him that I think/hope exist in this portrait.
When I showed his this photo he grabbed his chin and - though small spurts of exasperated laughter - said: 'hmm, yeah ..it's not a bad shot son, but a pity I look completely fucked!'. He thought he looked ancient, I assured him he looked more like a wise old Greek philosopher.
Denise, my yoga teacher, inspired us during class with a compelling story of her 91 year old mother whose health is slowly deteriorating. Moved by her story I offered to take photos of herself and her mum at the retirement village.
When she is with her mother, you can see the worry, the helplessness and the sadness in her eyes, but despite all the distress I find love, peace and gratefulness when they are in each others arms.
Denise cherishes every moment she spends with her mother; its a GIFT!
Dung spends most of his days on the floor of Ky Quang Orphanage. His severely deformed limbs mean crawling is his only form of mobility. He loves to be held and made to feel like he is walking or flying. Partially blind, he is drawn to the light that falls into one corner of the room. He cannot speak, but he makes sounds and gestures to communicate.
Dung is one of many special needs children in the orphanage, many of them abandoned by their parents who cannot afford the burden. The children's conditions range through mild to severe mental and physical disabilities, many of which are attributed to Agent Orange.
The Monks who run the orphanage collect donations, but it is questionable how much of that reaches the children. The Monk's living quarters are luxurious in comparison as is the highly decorated Buddhist park that surrounds the orphanage. The children are primarily cared for by the nurses and volunteers. Nurses are virtually untrained and drastically under staffed, which means children can sometimes be neglected for prolonged periods of time. The techniques used by nurses are often questionable and there have been many reports of Monks being violent or abusing children.
Hilda was born in Germany in 1928 and lost her family during the Holocaust. She came to Australia as a 17-year old, married and had four children. Surrounded by precious memories, Hilda later lived for many years on her own in the large family home.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 11: Retired teacher Geoff Ostling displays his tattooed skin during a portrait session at his home in Petersham on May 11, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. Geoff has pledged to donate his skin to the National Gallery in Canberra after his death. He didn't get his first tattoo until he was in his forties and is now covered in the artwork by artist eX de Merci from neck to ankle with the theme 'all the flowers of a Sydney garden'.