Maurice Spira

Maurice Spira. Painter and blockprinter. Photographed September 20, 2010.

You can see a sample of Maurice's work on the first post of this blog. He did a blockprint portrait of me almost ten years ago. I love the way he works with blockprints - such a strong sense of line.

When I first started this portrait project I had in Maurice in mind so I called him up and set up a shoot. He was very accommodating as we tried different backdrops and lenses. We kept the conversation going the whole time. I ended up with a number of good shots. 

Now I had to decide what I wanted from the editing process. It's difficult, like feeling in the dark for something. Also photography is, maybe, a little like writing. With writing you can tell about someone in a compelling way that shows their character, but the subject might not be so happy to read about themselves in that way. It is similar with photography. You can get some images that show the frailty of someone, the exhaustion or uncertainty - something really human - but I don't think people want to see that in themselves. So it is a challenge to push past what the subject may think of the photo and find the one that expresses something more. I didn't have this concern with Maurice, but I've encountered it with other subjects.

Maurice's Website:

Here is an index of portraits.

Tim McLaughlin

Photographer and writer based in Vancouver, Canada