A long term client pinged my e-mail today while I was in the coffee shop. The ask was for a portrait of Ruth Lilly made in 1996, they sheepishly asked if I could locate it today! I responded that I knew exactly where the negatives and extra prints were. Digital copy of the portrait made and sent to the client within an hour. Another fire is out.
More on this portrait; I arrived at Lilly’s home on a Saturday morning to find she wasn’t sure about having the portrait made. I got to talk to her a few minutes and she decided to let me make a few photographs beside the roses. I made only 7 or so images when she said; “I’m sure you have enough.” She approved the image posted here.
She was a lady of another time, I’m glad to have met her and a few Hoosier other luminaries for this ongoing project.
My work is always about the play of light, but light maters not if the spirit of the relationship is lost. This brother and sister have been visiting the studio around New Year’s Day for a couple years now.
I do plenty of fine work with my digital equipment. That said, I hang many prints in my south facing windows. I have some silver halide (black and white) prints that are some 50 years old, along with some of my own that are past a decade. They do not degrade, which is something that can’t be said for color and especially color “giclee” (inkjet) prints. I will continue to make color prints, but always tell the client that UV glass is needed, and display near the sun, should in all cases be avoided.
If you have the inclination, I can, and still do make traditional (silver halide) Black and White Selenium toned prints. I do more than “take pictures,” I make “portraits for the ages,” in more ways than one. These prints also just have a resonance and depth that is very hard if not impossible to beat with more modern digital capture and printing.
All content copyright Vincent Walter.