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Tom Hawkins: Artist Statement

   Fine Art Portrait photography has the power to arouse the imagination and evoke emotions. My purpose with portrait photography is to explore unique and captivating ways to depict human beauty in its most natural form. Although my photos deal primarily with glamour-based figurative studies, my aim is to expose absolute beauty, not beauty in the sense of flawless skin or body type, but beauty revealed through genuine depiction of human spirit and life-force.

   To create genuine portrait photographs requires a deep sense of interpersonal relationships. After achieving technical requirements and artistic vision, what remains is to determine the mood and emotions conveyed by the model. The interactions between the model and the camera are of paramount importance. Part of my photographic strategy is to invest extraordinary time and effort to ensure that the model reaches a state of contentment and openness. When the model is free of any fears or anxieties they may have in the world, even if only momentary, the true essence of the persona emerges and is revealed in all its splendor.

   My landscape scenes are motivated by the desire to stimulate in the viewer primal feelings of awe and comfort in the natural world. Most of my technical efforts are focused on reproducing a sense of depth and spatial relationship between elements in nature. Rather than limiting myself to conventional film latitudes, which can be restrictive in representing the full tonal range in a dynamic landscape scene, I use Photoshop in order to achieve the tonality and colour relationships present in original vision, never combining more than one scene.

   I am influenced by the work of Michael Thompson, renowned for his stunning and impressive imagery. Many of his photographs use the surrounding natural environment to enhance the richness and depth of the scene. Using the environment and scenery, I admire his control over mood and presence.

   Mario Testino's exotic and bold style is true to its purpose--pure glamour. Dedicating his work to visual impact instead of intellectual importance, Testino successfully uses intense colour and strong composure. These two elements--the bold use of colour and strong composure--inspire and influence my own work.

   For my current projects, photographs will be captured on high resolution digital format as well as on film. All photographs will be processed in Photoshop to ensure that the original tonality and colour are reproduced as accurately as possible.


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