Hatch photographer James Mott explains the emotion and purpose behind his photography.
Portraiture is the centre point of photography for me. It allows me to engage with my subject on a personal level and create emotion while expressing my own feelings and personality.
I prefer to shoot in black and white – for many reasons.
First, for the aesthetics of the black-and-white portrait. It has a gritty feel about it that is unmatched by colour: it’s stripped back to the bones, it makes you focus on the subject rather than be distracted by vibrant colours in the frame.
Second, it touches base with my inspiration: the works of photojournalists such as James Nachtwey, Kevin Carter and Henri Cartier-Bresson, all of whom shot predominantly in black and white.
Finally, portraiture is the best tool a photographer or photojournalist possesses to document a person’s journey and story. A single image of a face can tell the viewer a life story, something that a mundane landscape could never do. It can show heartache, pain, joy, sadness and more … and the narrative writes itself.
This is why portraiture is so important to me. It places photography on a human level so we can connect with the meaning and purpose of humanity.