/14 Portraits

Max Pinckers


I’ve always held a strong fascination for both the definition and interpretation of portraits. Classically speaking, portraits comprise a large degree of cooperation between photographer and subject, ideally (though not necessarily) revealing some connection between the two. Both are involved in a balanced and unbiased relationship to create a desired outcome.
Many photographers and painters have explored the limits and possibilities of the two dimensional portrait, all contributing to what it has become today. The question still remains; are we able to capture a person’s character, thoughts or emotions in a single image? With the series Transitions, I explore this idea by making an attempt to ‘catch’ people as they are dissociated from the encompassing world, deeply entranced in their own thoughts and absorbed in whatever is going through their mind.

Submerged into an ‘absorptive mode’, people’s expressions depict themselves in an honest way – unposed, unconcerned and unaware of either the photographer or the camera. The relation between the photographer and the subject has therefore been obscured, something which provokes us to ask ourselves if these really are portraits.