We are used to seeing formal and staged portraits of people, quick “smile-for-the-camera” snapshots, and candids of people on the street. Rarer are photos of individuals gazing directly at the camera in this way, at a person they do not know and have no connection to. In our increasingly on-line culture eye-contact with strangers grows rarer and our relationships less direct.
In each portrait, the subject is looking at a stranger which is appropriate. When these photos are posted on-line, the vast majority of the portraits will be viewed by strangers.
When I had assembled my first pass at the gallery my wife looked over the photos and grinned, saying “Everyone is amazing.” If everyone came away with that, I would be very happy. I do hope that something in the juxtaposition of so many random, disparate people creates something humanizing.