This is the final post in my series looking back on the faces behind Faces of Friendship: Part II and I thought it would be fitting to close with, well, me. It did not occur to include myself in the first part of this project - it was after all a one-day thing that went by in a mad afternoon blur.
But when I decided upon a sequel I wanted to be included, not only because I thought it would be interesting dynamic but, quite honestly, it was a useful bargaining chip when asking others to get involved!
Self-portraits are an interesting experience. Being your own director can be challenging and there is always an element of self-awareness to the photographs that makes me inclined to steer away from anything too serious or sincere. But, as with all of these photos, I wanted it to be accurate.
It is, of course, staged. But there is honesty and integrity in the shot which is why I decided to pick it. To give some context, this was the very last shoot of the series. I had been taking these portraits for ten months. I had overrun the schedule and was behind on the editing.
I like to think that my self-portrait reflects some of the exhaustion I felt. The end of the project was in sight. If I had taken this at the beginning of the project I would have likely picked differently. But on this February day, with Faces of Friendship concluding, this image shows at least some of the relief that I was experiencing at the time.
And with this post I can draw a line under Faces of Friendship: Part II. I am grateful to all those who participated. It is, after all, the faces that make the project. Its success has gone beyond my expectations and I'm already tentatively looking ahead to Part III. I can't say when that will be exactly; it could be 2020, maybe later, maybe earlier. But there is a satisfaction and excitement at the thought of continuing a journey that started innocently enough over five years ago.