Included within my tutor’s feedback for Assignment one ‘Square Mile’ was a recommendation to check out a photographer called Tim Flach. The reason he was recommended to me was because he takes photographs of dogs, which was the theme of my Square Mile. Also the main photographic genre which I’m interested in is portraiture so you will see that this recommendation was perfect on two levels.
Tim Flach (b. 1958) is a London-based photographer who takes photographs of animals using the principles of human portraiture. I looked on his website and he really has some lovely clear crisp photographs of dogs on there (as well as horses and other subjects). They look really polished, like professional portraits of celebrities would look, glamorous and they have a ‘magazine’ feel to them.
His website is well set out in grid style, no-nonsense and clean. Although he is taking photos of these animals portrait style, his commentary is more around us as humans presenting other animals according to our own aesthetic rules/preferences. Take cross and in-breeding of dogs for example which has resulted in breathing difficulties, allergies and heart problems in some breeds, just so we can get a dog that’s say, small and doesn’t moult.
We see ourselves at the top of the animal tree. As an intellectual species we should be earth’s caretakers however we are doing a pretty bad job with global warming, climate change and our increased impact on earths resources that ultimately every animal species on the planet will or is being affected by.
Soap box aside, Tim Flach’s photographs are inspiring and I think they definitely set a bar for animal portraiture. Saying this it would be remiss of me if I did not add a portrait of my dog here in homage (although in no way to the same standard as Tim Flach’s photographs obviously).