Monthly Archives: April 2016

Wish I’d Shot That


photo found on the wall in providence rhode Island

Coming out of the theater in Providence; I ran smack into this very, very large photo. I don’t know who shot it or why; but I definitely had one of those “wish I’d shot that” feelings. When that happens, there is a simple acknowledgement that someone has done something that I admire; but, then, there is that petty little “I could have done that” partnered with the jealous “I want that”. When I am done stuffing all those  reactions back in to their little black box; I can get back to simple appreciation and wonder at how directly a photograph can describe a profound humanity with an intensity afforded by no other medium.

This is not a simple picture. The soft, cool palette; the order and abstraction of the composition; the relaxed elegance of the hands all combine to create a significant whole.  I want to believe that this man was in this place, at this time, of his own accord; and that this is a record of that beautiful and sublime moment where art and history collide. I may have it all wrong; this could be a totally manufactured event. Photography has become more and more suspect as its cinematic nature has been exploited (aka Gregory Crewsdon at the extreme). Still, there is hope as only a photograph can engender, that this just happened and the photographer just happened to be there.

Photography has always been for me, first and foremost, about the record; a means of communicating wonder, shock, and awe. The more it gets fiddled with the more abstract that basic tenet becomes, not necessarily at the expense of ideas and art, but, I think, at the expense of something that only a photograph can provide … simple truth. I was reminded of a couple of artists that seem to consistently create these kinds of images, Eve Arnold (l) and Dawoud Bey (r).



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FYI … Some Changes and Additions

Changes | Studio | John Earle Photography

Interior of John Earle’s new Studio

There have been a number of changes in my business recently. I moved my studio down the hall last summer. The intention was to create a dedicated portrait space that could serve as both a commercial extension of my business as well as an incubator for ideas. The shooting space is small, but highly malleable affording me an efficient and intuitive workflow. A system of curtains and diffusers enables me to sculpt the light precisely; not to mention a sweet “north light” window.

Studio | Subject view | John Earle Photography

Subject View of John Earle Photography | New studio

Studio | Photographer view | John Earle Photography | new

Photographer’s view while shooting a portrait at John Earle Photography

Most important, it creates a quiet intimate space to have the interaction I like to have when I shoot portraits; a space where my subjects can feel safe and calm without the theater of a larger production. After many years of working exclusively on location; to be able to walk a few feet, flip some switches, and do work that matters to me is a real treat.


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