Through the project ‘Beautiful people’ I want to make a statement about beauty and the aesthetic ideal. The project can be seen as sort of an indictment.
Regularly I notice that at photo contests pictures with people that comply to the aesthetic ideal score well. Often, a jury prefers those pictures over a better photo with a portrayed person that fits less well within that ideal. A photo of a beautiful and slim young bride often wins over a picture of a bigger or an older bride. That bothers me.
All people portrayed in this project have a disability. The persons with the most severe disabilities, who stand the furthest from our ideas about beauty, result in great pictures.
Every person can look beautiful in pictures. I think as a portrait photographer you have the duty to make beauty visible in every picture. It is crucial not to make a caricature of people, even if they are different than how we are used to look at beauty.
As a photographer I thoroughly enjoy making portraits of all sorts of people. I strive to portray everyone in a dignified manner. My goal has been reached when the eyes of a portrayed person tell a story.