The most important thing about photography is the story, the message, the feeling. The connection. How to make this reach people. It’s a combination of simplicity and the power of spirit and soul.
Platon has photographed the most important people known to us in the past decade. A Platon portrait is about lighting, the person’s eyes, the angle of the camera, the emphasis on their hands, their posture. Every time he works with his subject, the person appears to have look in their eye that draws the viewer into the picture. It’s about getting the soul. The composition is graphic. It’s bold, classic and fearless. He isolates the elements in the pic. When he presses the shutter, something amazing happens, he recognizes the power, the moment that has been frozen in time forever. It’s the closest anyone can get to the very soul.
WORKING WITH PLATON
Before the shoot, Platon says that he doesn’t look for what the photo is might turn out to be but what he can get to know about his subject. Time is taken to building a connection with his subject, to empathize and listen to what they have to say. Various steps are taken to ensure the subject and him are at a level of intimacy that can further bring out the message in the photo.After a while, he realized if he could harness the emotions he experienced and express himself in the authentic way, it would be better.
∙ Platon likes to feel the essence of his subject, their aura and the emotions they are presenting, be it fear or menace, or inspiration and hope, it does something to him. It’s a painful process of growth and experience.
∙ He approaches all his pictures as an art director. His work is simple and it stands out. He says that design for him was a way out of confusion because a great design simplifies a very complicated world.
∙ He believes that the tools are to never be allowed to dominate the entire process. Great design is when the message is first and clear. ∙ Its not always about the detail, the only thing to focus on is compassion, dignity and humility. And then, the aesthetic.
∙ He met with a Gynaecologist- DR. Denis Mukwege, who established PANZI hospital for helping women deliver in natural environments. But Dr. Mukwege found that many people who were sexually violated were turning up too. So he invited Platon to interview them and capture portraits of the survivors.
∙ It was a three year project. When Platon was really in that atmosphere, he was terrified of all the strength he felt from the survivors. So he wanted to channel that exact feeling. ∙ All the things he’s learnt, he’s learnt through his job. And now he understands how precious every second is.