?Humphreys County, TN
What’s the story behind this portrait?
Kiera and Jordan Shipley are sisters who lived with their younger brother and sister in Tennessee. When their father found work in California, the whole family left their life, church and friends to move to the San Francisco Bay area. This photo was made on Thanksgiving Day, 2011, the day they left Tennessee for California. I asked them how they felt about leaving Tennessee and if they were excited about living in California. Kiera said, “No. Tennessee is the only life I’ve ever known.”
Why do you like to shoot portraits?
I love working with people and enjoy the challenge of connecting with someone and capturing that connection with a camera. It seems remarkable to me that an image of a person, their expression and body language, can travel through a lens, be converted from three dimensions into two dimensions, be reproduced on paper or a screen at a fraction of its original size, be viewed by a third party who knows nothing about the person or their situation or circumstances, but yet solely by way of that photo feels the same connection that the photographer felt when they took the photograph. That’s what I’m after and why I continue to make portraits.
What do you think makes a great portrait?
For me, it’s all about the connection and the feeling that the subject is revealing something to me about themselves.
Whose portrait work do you especially admire or feel influenced by?
Annie Leibovitz, Joshua Black Wilkins, Steve McCurry.
See more of Mark Mosrie’s photography at www.mosriephotography.com