Since it appears that everyone has a camera or a camera phone, I sometimes imagine the cosmos brimful of pixels flying hither and yon. But often the results suggest that these well-intentioned people are aiming their cameras in the approximate vicinity of something they like and hoping for the best. Consider the two high-school girls exuberantly aiming their phone at their own happy faces. It’s a way to create lovely memories, but it is far from photography, the art of creating portraits that will stand deep scrutiny.
Lynn Redmile is a genuine photographer, the exception to the proliferation of cheerfully evanescent candid shots. In a world of pointers and shooters, she is a painter who happens to have a camera rather than a set of brushes and a palette.
Because Lynn so deeply loves the sound of the music that improvisers create and the motions that she and other dancers invent in response, her photography has a sweet willingness to take risks, a smile as part of the ultimate exposure.
Consider the photograph below, taken at a November 11, 2011, evening in honor of Diane Naegel*, who died at 31 of breast cancer. It presents three young women, each singularly beautiful, assembled as if into a casually friendly constellation. The bright star on the right (dressed in red) is Nasiveli Sarygulova. (I am sure she or someone else will provide the name of the two other luminaries.) You might be thinking, “With such extraordinary human material to work with, anyone could take a great photo,” but I think this would be incorrect.
I see the careful artistic imagination of the photographer here, making choices: arranging the three friends in this way, with a wise intuitive knowledge of colors and shapes in balance. And it is not simply their beauty that makes the portrait so compelling, but the way in which these three Graces have revealed themselves to Lynn.
Having seen both the reality — life as it appears to one’s eyes — and the photographic portraits Lynn has made of that reality, I know that she creates depths and shadings that we would not have seen before. This isn’t a matter of equipment — to ask Lynn what camera she uses is an irrelevancy. And the beauty of this portrait has nothing to do with Photoshop. No, Lynn has seen something in her subject that might not otherwise have been accessible to our eyes or to a quick snapshot.
Lynn’s site is full of such portraits — that make even the most hasty scanner stop, consider, and savor. And I can say quietly — receiving no commission for these words — she is available for swing dances, baby pictures, dog and cat portraits, nude studies of your heartthrob, weddings, and more.
Works of art. See for yourself at http://www.lynnredmile.com.
*Diane and Don Spiro created the magazine ZELDA — a witty, precise piece of art devoted to all things vintage — http://www.zeldamag.com/ — which I will write more about in another post. For now, visit the magazine’s website and marvel.