About Gordon Humphries

My photographic career has spanned 4 decades and I have endeavored to embrace the changes in equipment and technology that have occurred and continue to evolve. I feel that digital imaging has empowered today’s photographers with more creative and quality control than ever thought to be practical, affordable or achievable. I embrace the concept of life-long learning and I'm aware of the fact that the best way to truly learn a topic is to teach it. As such, I chose to pursue a graduate degree in Media Arts at the University of South Carolina; I graduated with a MA in Digital Imaging in May of 2009 (30 years after my BA in Media Arts from USC in May of 1979). I have become passionate about teaching and have found the University of South Carolina a welcoming environment in which to do so (since the fall of 2006).

Statement of Practice

During the course of my career, I have been fortunate to have photographed people from all walks of life, and these interactions have impacted me greatly. I have become increasingly aware of the energy that is exchanged between my subjects and me during a session and the symbiotic result that often manifests itself in the finished image. With each encounter, I attempt to approach my subject with honesty, integrity, empathy and sensitivity…free of prejudice, artifice or preconceived notions about who they are or how they wish to be portrayed. I endeavor to be the catalyst for a dynamic equilibrium of energy to occur during our time together, and to capture the essence of their personality beyond the persona or facade they may have wished to outwardly project. Once I have the lights and camera adjusted, I typically don’t look through the eyepiece again until I change or re-frame the composition. This allows me to make constant eye contact with the subject and/or her actions, minimizing the barrier of equipment between us, facilitating the intimacy of our interaction, as I balance my quiet observation with my active participation. As I relinquish control, I gain power…not power over my subject, but the power of synergy with my subject. Spontaneity replaces artifice. And in that moment a portrait is more than a depiction of a face (or hands); it becomes a record of an act of personal relating—an encounter that has to include me beyond the act of pushing the shutter button. The awareness and understanding of this fact simultaneously fills me with humility and passion for what I do, and a sense of responsibility for how I practice my art.