The Dark Half

Around 12 months ago, I asked a Canadian photographer who was working on a shoot for me, why it was that when some people are caught on camera, it didn't look like them in the photograph. All of the features were present and correct but the picture seemed incomplete - as though a part of them was missing. I was talking about myself but he wasn't to know that because the conversation was by email. Fact remains though, I hardly ever see a photograph of me that I'm happy with - it really does feel like some important part of me is missing from what's been captured. The shoot I did with Scott Cole - much of which is dotted around the site - is the exception but that's kind of different because I knew the shot was coming. There's some kind of Clouseau/Kato chemistry going on in a situation like that.

I assume it has something to do with light. I guess there are some people that reflect light in the 'correct' manner and the camera is thus able to capture all of the things they bounce back. Some people reflect light so well in fact, they are able to make a career out of it. If this is true, then I guess I belong in the opposite camp. I am one of those who absorb light - which might lend some credence to an ever increasing number of people around me telling me how 'dark' I am. The more the years pass by, the darker I become. It's not how I see myself but isn't that the story of all of us?

I didn't intend this to be a 'me, me, me' affair at all. Far from it. I'm genuinely curious as to why this might be. I half suspect I'm correct because it's impossible to take a picture of Hector inside the house in which he appears as nothing but a black shape.

Anyway, this was prompted by a picture that Emily Darcy Adams took of me a couple of weeks ago that I got hold of yesterday and thought for the first time that it might actually look like the version me that exists inside my head. 

Something in the sidelines here seems to have amused me and although I look like I've been up for about three days solid - because I have - I really did recognise myself. And by that, I mean I can see the things that go on inside of my head being externalised.

I'll shut up now because I'm very close to confusing myself.

Is any of this grounded in fact? Is it something they teach you or that you learn for yourself when you're finding your photography feet? Comments welcome... preferably on the subject. I don't need psuedo-warriors loading up rubber bullets and taking pot-shots.

Close friends as always are exempt and may fire as many as they wish.

Sion Smith