Collaboration is at the heart of all my photography. It’s not enough for me to just point my camera at something as an object. I want the interaction, and the sense that together we are creating something bigger than either of us could do alone.
If the camera is the tool, then light, line and form are the materials we sculpt with. In most photographs, most viewers are looking at the content – the landscape, the person, the animal, the sunset etc – but the photographer is looking at how the light emphasises the lines and shapes within.
The majority of my work is either portraiture, or staged scenes, creating stories and drawing the viewer into other worlds.
This set of photos came out of an opportunity I had to photograph a retired ballet dancer. At 66 years old she still had the toning and suppleness of someone decades her junior. Here was a chance to capture the beauty and elegance of the human form, which was not about youth, but maturity and experience.
Setting up a black background, I placed a single light behind and to one side of Alexandra as she glided through a series of poses and movements. As the burst of the flash was too fast for the human eye to register what was being caught, I tethered the camera to a laptop computer so I could see the results of each click.
After the session I converted the images to black and white, and darkened down the shadows until just the highlights remained, creating images where the light, line and form were all now minimised and accentuated. The lines flow, the mature body is partially visible and the mind fills in the missing details.