Quiet portraits is my personal project from the beginning of 2019. It was an experiment, and become something bigger than just a personal project.
An idea of the "Quiet portraits" was born more than 2 years ago. It took a lot of time, planning, fighting with personal fairs and excuses to get to do them. But now, that I know I can do it, and I see how many women took part in it I love this little baby and hope to continue next year. At first there were just my friends that become participants, later more than 30 strangers replied my ad on Facebook and came to my home to be very sincere, vulnerable and truthful. With someone they have seen for the first (and mostly) for the last time.
So what the "Quiet portrait" are all about? How did they appear? At the beginning there was a mix of two ideas and theses.
First one was just to try to experiment and find out how we feel time. I told each person that they have to leave their watches and phones in the next room, and I set an alarm to ring in 10 minutes. That what I said to them. But it was 15 minutes. The thing I was wondering about, if they can recognize it is already 10 minutes. Very specific and short time we use a lot in our life. So, what could happen after that time? Will the participants change their behavior? And guess what, they did. Almost every time I could know it is already 10 minutes, because they started talking after being quiet, or they stoped talking, sometimes started stretching... Every time it was a little different, but I could see how they have changed. So that was a first part.
The second reason at the end become much more important and interesting. So, on the other side, I believe, that a photo can tell so much about a photographer, sometimes a photo is more about a person behind the camera than the one in front. It depends on me as a photographer where I stand, what lens I use, what moment I choose to shoot, what I make in focus, what kind of photos I select, what mood I am in when I take photos and I edit them. So on and so forth.
So what would happen if I try to minimize my influence? If I let people be themself, talk if they like, be quiet if they want. So the only term there was during the photoshoot - I don't talk and don't react, no matter what they say, or how long it is quiet. It is all up to them. What it can bring, what I can find out about them and about myself? This was the biggest surprise. How much you can find in 15 minutes of being quiet.
The last thing. I have a feeling that women need permission to do nothing. Not to take care of someone, not to have to do something, not to go anywhere. Just sit and waste some time. And when I gave them that permission for each one it was a little different feeling. The situation in general was uncomfortable and strange. Imagine that, you are sitting in front of someone who is not responding no matter wha you say, or there is that really loud silence. And silence can be very loud! Someone, you see for the first time in your life, for example. Would you start talking about nonsenses? What would you think for such a long time? I can tell you, you never know before you try. You can guess, but you never know for sure. And at the end, I found it to be very healthy and helpful to have such an experiment in our lives.
Thank you each and every one who came, who participated, who didn't get scared, who was brave enough to be you.