Face Value: Jack Neal's Portrait Partnerships
This website, Jack Neal offers this observation by the noted photographer Duane Michals: "I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody's face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways."Jack writes that Michals' challenge "best represents the continuing allure of photography for me. I remain fascinated by faces. What stories are reflected thereon, what secrets lie hidden...?"
Which explains Jack's preference for portraiture. As far as his preference for black and white film for his portraits, Jack says that like old black and white movies, "it somehow conveys a little more emotion and has more of an artistic feel to it." Black and white can also suggest an element of mystery, of course, which also makes it the perfect medium to suggest the stories and secrets Jack alludes to.
Jack says he has no trouble
finding subjects for his portraits. "They're people I meet
in everyday life," he says, and in everyday life he's not
a professional photographer. His work is in other fields, including real
estate and financial consulting. But his passion is photography, and for
the past year and a half he's made an effort to devote more time
While he does say that he
believes "there's no such thing as an un-photogenic person,"
it's obvious from viewing his portraits that the people he photographs
aren't unattractive. Beyond looks, though, is something less tangible.
"The photographer bears the sole responsibility of trying to capture
the spirit of the person," Jack says, and Jack is confident he can
do that if his subject will "dedicate the time to the process, accept
the discipline of the process and the direction of the photographer."
Jack's sessions can
last anywhere from two hours on the short side to marathon 10-hour shoots.
"If I can walk away with one compelling image, I'm satisfied,"
Note: You can see more of Jack's portraiture, as well as examples of his photojournalism and personal projects, at his website, www.jackneal.net.