Kirk Tuck by Frank Grygier, ©2018 Frank Grygier.
There is nothing like spending one's life taking portraits of other people and then being confronted by someone else's portrait of oneself. This is a portrait of me as photographed by friend and fellow photographer, Frank Grygier. It's scary to see what I really look like but I think Frank has been neither too kind nor too unkind in his attempt to capture something of what it is like to be 63, to be in a very bizarre business, and to carry around within me the hard core belief that I'm really still 23 years old.
I love his use of classic 3/4 side lighting, it's both dramatic and clinically revealing. His use of a 100mm lens renders my face with more accuracy than a shorter or longer lens would have and I love the fact that the glasses frame on my right eye (left of frame) is darker and the frame on the right is light against darker skin. On a personal level I twinge to see that errant and unruly eyebrow hair float up like a flag against the left temple but at the same time I admire the inclusion of that detail as a light-against-dark contrast that makes my expression more interesting (at least to me).
Seeing this photo and then boring into the details makes me wish I could go back in time and apply sunscreen every single time I left the house, and especially on the days of those blissful midday swims. We luxuriated in the strong sun back then but I pay for it with vague and worrisome tattooing of the skin on my face now. The portrait's details give me an uneasy assurance that I'll be getting to know my dermatologist quite well, some time in the future.
Frank's strategic placement of my hand serves to hide a bit of "turkey neck" that comes with age and heredity. But even the way his light plays across both sides of my wedding ring adds to the allure of the split nature of the lighting in the frame.
My eyes look, by turns, fearful (who would not have trepidation to have their flaws so blatantly exposed?) but also inquisitive and present. I'm always keenly interested in how other people make portraits and watching Frank added ever more data points to my bank of possible lighting solutions.
I think it would be an interesting micro-workshop for each of us to seek out a photographer friend within our age demographic; someone whose work we admire, and ask them to make our portrait. After sitting through a session we would then turn the tables and make a portrait of the other. The reason is that we each could use portraits of ourselves as a more objective measure of how the world sees us. A different perspective than the one in the mirror. Because it is well known that the gaze in the mirror is modified second by second by the desire of the mind for assurance that things have not gone along quite so far....