This selection of photos comes from Paul’s ongoing photography series, Limited Light. The series was born from a desire to photograph artists in a way that captured the essence and emotion of their art, rather than focusing solely on their physical appearance. Because of Limited Light’s unique aim, the portraits often grew to become a collaboration between Paul and the artists—the final product coming out of a mutual trust and a shared understanding of the ultimate goal. The process of taking these photographs has adapted over time, but each photo featured here was taken in a sixty-minute session. Purposefully, Paul had never seen most of the artists before meeting them to take their portraits—he’d only witnessed their art.
The artists Paul has worked with for this project range from poets to dancers to painters. There is no manipulation of the photographs, so what you see is what Paul saw when he took the photo. The name—Limited Light—comes from the fact that the only equipment Paul uses is camera; therefore, he has to rely on natural lighting and embrace how the subject is transformed by the changing light. This project, he says, has taught him how to accept uncertainty and see beauty in the variables he can’t control.
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Several of the photos below are featured in his first book, Limited Light (11th Street Press), where he mixes his portraits with narrative prose. Paul is currently working on a new series called Retrospective with Reading Glasses.