Norma Desmond Posted May 18, 2011 Share Posted May 18, 2011 <p>Do you make statements and have a purpose with regard to your photographs? I do, though it's come about as part of an evolving process and the statement I'm making has become more focused over time. I expect it to continue evolving. I'm not talking about abstract purposes or general themes. I'm talking about something you can talk about with at least some degree of specificity.</p> <p>I set out on an exploration with my work, after first taking a more passive and distant approach, shooting from literal and metaphorical shadows on the street at people I found interesting. That grew into engaging with people, usually people in the gay community that I met through friends, social situations, ads placed in various places, word of mouth, joining a photo club, etc. I found myself mostly interested in shooting men around my age. Slowly, I realized I was wanting to say something about aging and, especially, the physical side of that. I saw our bodies related strongly to the visual aspects of photography. So photographs seemed a great way to communicate about this. I found that many of us were still quite physical, though physically changed in so many ways from when we were younger. I found a lot of men willing to assert their sexuality, still play with it, and still willing to be very physically oriented. They were willing and in some cases anxious to explore that with me photographically. That often helped us open up emotionally as well. One way to put this statement, this purpose, into words is that I am making these men -- physically and emotionally viable even as we age -- visible. We seem to disappear to younger guys, who often have little use for us. Many of us seem to disappear even to ourselves. We don't recognize ourselves because we continue to picture what once was. I want to remind us that we are still here . . . and remind others.</p> <p>Brief slideshow: <a href="http://www.fredgoldsmithphotography.com/gallery/Men/">MEN</a> (includes nudity)</p> <p>Many photographers aren't message oriented and can't, won't, or don't want to translate their work into a coherent and specific statement or can't, won't, or don't want to state a particular purpose. Many do. I do. One photographer told me today that he wishes he had gone in a photographic direction of "giving something back" in addition to creating photographs for their own sake.</p> <p>I think bodies of work can be evidence of statements and purpose and I think individual photos can be so as well.</p> <p>I don't think it's necessary or better than many other ways of photographing.</p> <p>Do you have a photographic statement to make? Have you done so in your work overall or in some specific photo or photos? How has that come together for you?</p> We didn't need dialogue. We had faces! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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