I have just had the luck to attend a seminar by a great portrait photographer, and president of the Master Photographer’s Association, Henk van Kooten.
Henk sees himself as more than a photographer. In fact the label he gives his own work is ‘photographic art and design’. He manages to produce contemporary works of art that would look stunning on the wall of any chic, modern home. But, of course, the occupants of the home are also the subject of the art.
Henk goes further than that with his photography. He aims to tell a story. Each picture is communicating a deeper message that only the viewers of the picture will understand. He does this through an intimate understanding of body language gained through his experience as a psychiatric nurse and his desire to make his pictures have real meaning.
So, for example, an image of 3 friends with one looking away, reflects the fact that one of them is terminally ill and soon to leave the group. The impact this image has on the sitters is understandably enormous.
Henk is based in Holland and his customers come from all over Europe. I’m not sure that us reserved Brits could go with such meaningful photography. But if we could, I can’t think of a better way to use the art of photography…..