Sean Salyards

In researching photographers, I stumbled across Sean Salyards. He has written an interesting piece about his project “Acquaintances.” It resonates with my work.. in particular I understand his point that the portrait photograph is a social contract between the photographer and the subject.. but also similitude of all potential latent human interactions.

The full text is reproduced below.

In 2005, I began a photographic project that thus far has produced hundreds of portraits. As I travel, I walk the streets with a camera, making an effort to photograph individuals in their immediate spaces. I am interested in both people and their environment as each person and setting is revealing of our human affiliation.

In the photographic process there is a social transaction that takes place between two individuals that results in a summarizing familiarity with each other’s circumstances. Photographs are evidence of a social contract not only between the photographer and the subject, but to the similitude of all potential, latent human interactions. I use the word ‘acquaintance’ to describe the relationship that ensues between the individual and myself via a consummated photograph, but in the body, the aggregate of captured images, something greater is revealed.

Everyone’s existence is evidence of a superior plan, something that is outside of themselves.  Our existence, our participation in society (on whatever level that might be), and the vocations that we engage in are evidence of the similitude of the human condition.  We all serve a greater purpose and I believe it important to show the significance of each person’s situation, as it is revealing of the uniqueness of all of our lives, but also of the greater context of the correlation of all people.

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