I am a documentary photographer and storyteller who has recorded areas of society that no one has recorded before. The first; a series of NY children from different soceio-economic backgrounds, the second; forty-seven key women from the second wave of the women's movement. Later, for almost a decade I photographed the interiors of Turkey's traditional houses. Recently, I spent a couple years photographing one of the great private gardens of the world.
I've had numerous exhibitions, won awards and my photographs have appeared in every type of media. My portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery, the New York Historical Society, and Richard and Ellen Sandors Family collection, one of the finest private photography collections in the world.
My 1976 portrait of Louise Nevelson is the current face of the Pace Gallery's exhibition at the 2022 Venice Biennale of Nevelson's work. According to Art News, with posters of the portrait all over the city it became the symbol of the whole Biennale.
What is a Portrait?
According to the dictionary it can be a painting, photograph, drawing, or even a description.
A successful portrait is achieving an image that is a timeless representation of the subject. Even with inanimate things or portraits of spaces, the goal for me is the same, to capture its soul.
I've photographed hundreds of people. I have a series of NYC children and another Women of Wisdom. Getting beyond that awkwardness is not easy. The clock is ticking. Even children are uncomfortable, under the scrutiny of a prying eye. As a photographer, I'm always nervous, ''will I get that one image.''
What works for me is to keep the conversation flowing. Eventually the awkwardness fades. When photographing children there are endless things to talk about, however it is not as simple with adults. If the person is well-known then I do a lot or research about them.
As the conversation progresses, I keep the camera clicking. The first pictures never work but they are important part of the process. The subjects get used to the clicking and the images get better. After about an hour I find a person relaxes. That is the moment, I can capture my subject.
Real character is revealed. The tilt of the head, the shoulders go soft, the fingers relax, the legs are at ease and the eyes are unguarded. That final image happens in a split second. Decades later the portrait must still work.