Richard Avedon is one of my all time favorite photographers. He’s known for his black and white portraits and fashion photography. After my meetings I took some time to visit Avedon: Women at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. It’s simultaneously humbling and encouraging to be surrounded by a wall of his timeless prints. Avedon’s perspective and approach to the craft is one of the elements that drives me to continue to push the limitations of my own work. In his own words he describes the intimacy you need to create with the person you’re photographing in order to produce something remarkable:
I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune-teller –to find out how they are. So they’re dependent on me. I have to engage them. Otherwise there’s nothing to photograph. The concentration has to come from me and involve them. Sometimes the forces of it grows so strong that sounds in the studio go unheard. Time stops. We share a brief, intense intimacy. But its unearned. It has no past …no future. And when the sitting is over –when the picture is done –there’s nothing left except the photograph. – Richard Avedon
By the way the show is free, go see it before it closes on December 21, 2013.