Sometimes the people I train my camera on don’t see me, it’s becoming a rarer and rarer event because I now stand very close, put my camera to my eye and wait. Even then occasionally they are too engrossed in what they are doing (usually their phones) or I can see that they have noticed my out of the corner of their eye and are determined not to look at me. Then the stars of the pictures become the by standers, they are watching me looking at my intended subject and I very rarely notice them, it’s only afterwards in processing that I will see a face in the background, watching me.
It’s interesting because they are observing me often without considering the fact they might be in the photograph, they might become the key. I don’t know why I need the eyes but there is something that legitimises a picture when I have a set of eyes staring down the lens at me. Maybe my photography is legitimised by viewers and like in my close up portraits where I get a reactions, all I’m looking for is to be seen. It’s something I have been considering for a while, that the photographer is the subject of the photograph and what the viewer sees are people’s reaction to the subject. I’ve never heard of a photographer taking this position before and it’s something I want to explore further.