The Electrifyingly Cinematic, Neon Lit Portraits Of Toby Harvard
With the help of strong lighting and carefully designed framing, photographer Toby Harvard has carved a unique style of portraiture. With an almost cinematic ambiance, the artist highlights certain quirks and individual details that his models display. A beauty spot, a strong jaw line, or a determined glare. The photographer observes them before capturing their personality, attempting to bring them into his own universe.
Opposing the rules of classical portraiture, which implies that portraits should be taken looking at the model's face, Harvard takes his images from behind or the side. The outcome is the impression that these photos contain more than they depict, retaining an air of mystery. This was a deliberate choice, and one in which the photographer truly believes. He explains his concept to Lomography:
"I think it lets the viewer use their imagination. You can wonder who this person is, what they look like, what their story is. Portraits including people’s faces seem to give too much away, if that makes sense."
Despite the vibrant lighting, Harvard is able to create a subtle and delicate world. The unnatural colours act as a background canvas, reflecting and contouring faces. They are strong film prints from a photographer who is always in pursuit of experimentation.
By Lisa Miquet, publish on 27/09/2016