“Parting Shots”… Analog Portrait Photography by Nick Shotwell
My portraits focus upon disconnection. I strive to create a sense of unease coupled with mystique, a glimpse into a flawed paradise. Imperfection.
When taking these portraits, I put careful consideration into the model’s attire, the location, the textures available in the shot and an immense focus upon composition. However, I do take several shots without looking, shooting multiple exposures with reckless abandon. This release of control when I shoot portraits results in exciting mutations and unpredictable collisions within the photograph. My constant experimentation yields out of the ordinary photographs, and often results in new veins of artistic thought and expression that I would have otherwise overlooked. I treasure the photographs that come out ineffectively as much as I do the successful ones. They each come with a lesson to learn, and failure often offers a great deal more to learn from than success.
The flaws within these portraits allow me to relate to them. They help me accept that they are truly mine. They are not perfect, they are dusty and out-of-focus, but they are a much truer extension of my flawed self than any perfect photograph could pretend to be.
My photographs are not striving to convey my own detachment, but rather they are borne from a world of it. I often find myself spending more time in the darkroom with the portraits than with the model themselves. There is something eerily synthetic about my relationship with these portraits; they are a glimpse into my never-ending attempts to connect with those I have taken portraits of.
They are purely imperfect portraits, offering a character and a mood, and I want the viewer to step forward and offer his or her own story. I don’t want them to simply view my work and move on, nor do I like the idea of forcing a narrative upon them. I would like to include the viewer, and ask them to put forth their own story, I want to collaborate. I want to connect with them. Nothing could make me happier than to turn the radioactive results of my disconnection into an opportunity to connect with others.
Nick shotwell graduated Keystone College in 2011 with an associate’s degree in fine arts. His work frequently bounces back and forth from leather sculptures to analog photography. He often describes the work he creates as a projection of himself- “Wild and Wounded”.
He currently publishes his work under his trademark “House of Lazarus”.
He enjoys working in the darkroom and singing along to Elvis Presley and the White Stripes. He is an Aquarius and His spirit animal is a Crocodile. He has broken his nose twice in his life. He believes in ghosts and he would one day like to become a professional ghost hunter.
He currently resides in Scranton, working daily on his artwork and hoping to one day quit his retail job and do what he loves full time. On a side note, He is fascinated by plastic surgery.
He has been referred to as “the Haymaker”, “the meanest man in the east”, And “the patron saint of lost causes.”