Moments Between Speaking (2021)
Canadian portrait photographer Kate Metzner visually narrativises the art of portrait photography in her series Moments Between Speaking (2021). After obtaining a BA in Psychology from Western University, Canada, Metzner became fascinated in understanding the intricate relationship between the photographer and the sitter. “For me, portraits should be slightly provocative and ambiguous and never one dimensional. It’s of little effort to take a picture of someone posing, but it is a very different encounter to capture someone in the moments between structured behaviour”, says Metzner.
Often an uncomfortable environment for the person having their photo taken, Metzner focuses more on the relationship she builds with her subjects and her own motivations rather than the photo itself. In one portrait the sitter wears Metzner’s leather jacket, blurring the boundary between the photographer and the sitter, questioning who is observing who.
Perhaps like the ﬁre in Céline Sciamma’s striking screenplay, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, Metzner’s jacket is ﬁgurative yet also real transforming the sitter’s insecurities – a juxtaposition between self-consciousness and conﬁdence.
The portraits in Moments Between Speaking were taken in Metzner’s home, and have been a creative resource during the 2020/21 COVID pandemic. For Metzner, the process of shooting someone’s portrait is as much about getting to know someone as it is to generate the ﬁnal image.