“Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
-Photographer Elliott Erwitt
In selecting from a considerable number of entries for the inaugural PORTFOLIO ONE publication, I was struck with the simple and profound awareness that our common connection as photographers lays within the very essence of the final images themselves.
Unaware how the production of the portfolio and my work with the photographers would unfold at the onset, PORTFOLIO ONE quickly developed its own shape and life as revealed in the light and shadows of the black and white, the colors of the jungle greens, and unwritten ages of the smiles and faces looking back at me from the images on my screen.
To what am I speaking? What is this common link across oceans and miles unknown that binds us as people, a people whom one has never met, yet a kinship does invite?
I found the answer, the realization, in the images staring back at me. The young faces and eyes so clear and without resolve shook loose smiles that were not yet downturned to some day’s trodden hardships of love and misplaced intentions. The answers of our kinship are reflected in the weathered eyes and faces, and in the wrinkles and folds of the hands. The images we see reflect ourselves or some whisper of self we may find hard to acknowledge, but truth is there anyway.
I found the answer in the simplicity of the bamboo bridge that brings a community together. It unites its tribal people because of the building it demands- giving them strength, it teaches the importance and success of community working together and in return it promises to carry the weight of their world from one side to the other, until the time for rebuilding is upon them again. And because of this- the circle of unity strengthens even that much more.
And I found the answer in the commitment shown by these photographers, who routinely approach their compositions with true integrity of artistic value, with respect and compassion of their subjects, whether they are of flesh and blood or the cosmic dust that fills our skies.
Interwoven in the stories of these images are the photographers who captured their essence and the binding spirit of our humanity. Therein lies our answer.
Thank you photographers and writers who helped to move PORTFOLIO ONE beyond the figment of imagination of blank pages, and into its own life that celebrates your talents!
Mina Thevenin, Editor