The City of Ryde annual art show is coming up in October and I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. When contemplating a subject for my entry, I decided that a double portrait would be ideal. The interaction between the two subjects elevates the piece from portraiture to narrative, telling a little story… and who doesn’t love a story?
I created this double portrait of my good friend K and her baby especially to enter into the show. When they were last visiting, I took continuous shots of K as she was trying to get her baby to smile. You can see that baby is smiling here almost as a reflex or against his will – his defences can’t hold faced with such affection from his mum!
Here are a few other double portraits I have done which all have a little extra to say.
This is a picture of my daughter, Caitlin, reading to my friend’s little girl just before bedtime on her first sleepover at our place. The little girl couldn’t read yet, and was captivated – and big-girl-Caitlin was enjoying the new role of bedtime reader.
This picture was a commission from a photo provided by the client. He loved the way his baby is clinging to his wife and the gentle, protective way she is holding him. You also get a sense here of the relationship between the subjects and the person taking the photograph.
The reference for this piece is a photo by Graeme Taylor of his grandma giving his dad a hug. That smile says it all … and is infectious! I can’t help smiling myself whenever I look at this picture.
If a portrait is an attempt to capture the character and essence of the subject, a double portrait needs to do that and reflect the relationship and interaction between the subjects. While creating a double portrait requires more skill (and patience!), I think the outcome is, dare I say it, doubly satisfying.