Julian Ray Photography

Portraits Pt. 1 "One To One"

Recently I was talking with some students about portraiture and why some images have a certain "something" and others just fail to engage.

We got into an exploration about how I go about my portraiture work. As is usually the case we had to spend time on what equipment, what settings, and so on before we could move off the largely meaningless stuff and get into what really makes an image have that "something".

To me it has everything to do with the connection. The willingness to engage and give. Give energy, be genuinely curios, to be open, and willing to share.

When I approach a subject to craft an image I think of it as a collaboration between two people. Not a 'Photographer' and 'Subject' but just two people who are hopefully going to create something that sheds light on the person or moment.

In these images I explore the connection of the One To One Portrait. That is, a portrait where the person is looking into the themselves by looking into the lens.

That something is that fleeting magical moment of truth and insight we both discover in our collaboration.

Do any of these images articulate that "Something" for you? Let me know in the comments below.


JRP_2107_Circus_2110
“Chaos can be incredibly creative.”
— Mark Rylance

Burma_2019_00401
“Elegance is achieved when all that is superfluous has been discarded and the human being discovers simplicity and concentration: the simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be.”
— Paulo Coelho

Sembcorp_2018_1575
“In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.”
— Jiddu Krishnamurti

Burma_2018_02148
“Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it.”
— Sai Baba

Burma_2018_00385
“I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.“
— Clemence Poesy

Burma_2016_01802
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
— Buddha

Burma_2018_00351
“Smiles are everywhere, and smiles can spread. You can smile to someone, and they'll smile to another person, and it goes on and on and on.”
— Jacob Tremblay

Thailand_2018_00180
“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
— e. e. cummings

Burma_2018_00460
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
— Thomas Aquinas

Burma_2015_01252
“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.”
— James Dickey

Burma_2017_00106
“The chief enemy of creativity is 'good' sense.”
— Pablo Picasso

Burma_2018_00432
“Man needs colour to live; it's just as necessary an element as fire and water.”
— Fernand Leger

JRP_2107_Circus_2393
“Red, of course, is the colour of the interior of our bodies. In a way it's inside out, red.”
— Anish Kapoor

Burma_2017_02125
“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”
― Diane Arbus

Burma_2018_00468
“An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.”
— Pablo Picasso

Burma_2018_00773
“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
— Eleonora Duse

Burma_2015_01186
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Burma_2018_02621
“Those who think only in straight lines cannot see around a curve.”
― Romina Russell

Burma_2017_02162
“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”
— Pablo Picasso


I look forward to seeing you out there.

Thank you,

Julian Ray

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