The Lunchtime Portraits began as a 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 who were 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 or not anyone was ready to capture them. 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.
Despite the daily rush of tourism, the subjects are most often the people living and working in Oxford. Sometimes the photos 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 before my eyes. The curtain suddenly drawn aside, the stage set and the actors in place.
The photos aren’t posed. There is never 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, otherwise, the photos just happen. Most truly are taken during my lunch breaks, because that’s my best, most frequent opportunity to have my camera out, but the point of the whole exercise became: These are the photos taken in the cracks, taken in the spaces between the blocks of time that comprise my day, sometimes even while walking from one event to the next.
To see the series in reverse chronological order (not recently updated), CLICK HERE.
To see the entire project, CLICK HERE.