I had this idea in my head. Maybe put three pictures up in my office, each representing something important about what I do. Counseling reminder. A touchstone for the eye of sorts. Well, like I said, it was in my head and as I realized one of the three pictures I wasn’t going to be able to get, and the others were certainly copyrighted, the three sort of evolved as I looked for alternatives. So in looking for a different way to go, in my head, we went from three reminders to 96 reminders. It’s why my wife refers to what comes out of my noggin as ‘cumbersome’ on occasion.
So. I am mostly a counselor but I have also studied and practiced a bunch of other things including cuisine and photography. I always wanted to have an idea why some folks in every field are wildly successful compared to many of their contemporaries, so I always checked a bunch of them out. So, here come 96 people and quotes attributed to them, if there are any – 24 chefs, 24 photographers, 20 people associated with psychology directly, and then 28 none of the above people whose lives or words remind me what to strive towards as a counselor, a counseling business owner, and a general human being. The only problem was stopping. There have been a lot of people who for one reason or another inspire me, lots more names on the potential list but it had to at least pause somewhere, so here we are.
I don’t rightly know if writing these out and posting them will be of any use to anyone else but I’m reasonably sure codifying the whole thing will drive it home for me and hopefully offer some encouragement and centering for our folks. Hope you get something out of one or two of them too.
Philippe Halsman is memorable as an outstanding portrait photographer whose images, for me, range all over the place. Maybe best known for the somber picture of Albert Einstein, his work includes celebrities jumping, a variety of takes on Salvador Dali’s mustache, stunningly lit portraits of familiar faces, and some twisted surreal takes on the world and physics. I guess the last one makes sense given his hanging out with Dali.
When talking about doing what he does, and why his shots stood out from so many others, he is credited with these three quotes…
“Most people stiffen with self-consciousness when they pose for a photograph. Lighting and fine camera equipment are useless if the photographer cannot make them drop the mask, at least for a moment, so he can capture on his film their real, undistorted personality and character.”
“Yes, I cannot hide it any longer: I usually select content over form. Instead of creating a graphically surprising image, I am more interested in capturing the inner truth.”
“A good portrait is incredibly hard to create, there is too much temptation to pander to the individual rather than portray them as they really were.”
As a counselor boy, Halsman reminds me it is my job to make people feel safe (Hi Lauren! ; ) ) or comfortable enough to drop the mask they wear in public (for public perception, not to avoid the corona virus), to see their inner truth, and to show them that raw image and make them still feel safe and comfortable enough to allow them to grapple and make choices from that reality, to in all reality look better in their portrait…scars and all.
You can see his work here…