The Lunchtime Portraits began as an quickly expanding accumulation of portraits taken while exercising my favorite lunchtime activity …
… No, not the illicit puppy-trade. Let me explain. In 2009, when I found myself employed, with an hour-long lunchtime and Oxford all around me, it seemed impossible to leave my camera in my bag. It is a scenic town, to be sure, but it was a living, breathing town full of people driving it, repairing it, studying in it, not just the ever-refreshing flow of tourists (which was also great). There couldn’t have been better moments, and they were happening all around me, whether anyone was ready to capture them. I would later learn that Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the se instances as ‘decisive moments’. So there I was, holding a camera, decisive moments occurring everywhere I looked, and it quickly dawned on me that I could do this every day. In fact, it could even be a habit! Nice.
Sometimes they are close ups, a bust shot, sometimes there is a scene being played out with several people. They’re portraits of life as it happens to pass before my eyes. Despite the daily rush of tourism, the subjects are most often the people living and working in Oxford.
The photos aren’t posed. There has never been any need. From time to time, I’ve occasionally asked for permission to take a photo, especially when I could see that it would help accomplish my goal, but the photos otherwise just happen. And happen, over and over again, so that, years later, the project has simply become what I do in the spaces of time between other things.
To see the series chronologically, CLICK HERE.