Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Starting a new project

Tom Janssen

Looking back on the year, I haven't really taken enough photographs, and few of them have been of the style and quality that I want. So I have decided to embark on a new project. The project is in part inspired by one of my own images that I shot a while back, of Tom Janssen. I asked Tom to just play guitar as if I wasn't there. This was partly so I could buy some time to fiddle with my lights and take some set up shots. It was also in lieu of direction on my part and I quite liked the natural way it worked in the picture. Both Tom's concentration and the colours and drama of the lighting create a special mood to the image, that I'm rather proud of. So proud in fact that I entered it into the Taylor Wessing portrait prize, sadly I received the consolation letter today. I, like 6240 others was unsuccessful.

Prizewinning or not, this is the kind of image I want to take, so I wondered how I could turn this into a series. After many nano-seconds of thought, it occurred to me that it was a solo artist performing solo to an audience of one. So I guess that covers the title of the project. I'll call it Solo.

I'm going to scour the internet for solo artists of all kinds and ask them to sit for a portrait. Each photo will have an element of performance to it, whether they are a musician, a writer, a comedian, a poet or a painter. The mood and location will convey the idea that the artist is performing on their own.

The difficult bit is going to be finding people to sit for me and allow me into their homes. So I could end up spending more time in front of a computer looking for people and corresponding. Hopefully as the images roll in, I should build up some momentum and it will get easier to find volunteers.

With any luck I will get a good cohesive series of images some of which may even be worth entering into competitions.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic idea Paulo.

    Good luck!

  2. Firstly, cracking picture Paulo. As for the Taylor Wessing prize - philistines! Good luck with the project. I look forward to seeing some more images from it.

  3. Awesome picture Paul!

    I've not checked in on your blog for a while but am excited by your new project. It sounds like a lot of fun.

    Perhaps it could lead to a book?