Brooklyn based photographer Louis Seigal’s work is driven by the idea that everything is temporary, which drives him to try to capture fleeting moments of beauty, may they be a person, a texture or a phenomenon. This has resulted in a form driven approach to photography where the viewer is met by images speaking of a more complex beauty than what first meets the eye.
In these images, created exclusively for The Absorbe, Seigal explores the theme of anonymity. It’s an interesting concept given that the media world we live in is anything but anonymous. We share every detail of our lives on social media platforms making anonymity an exotic and almost forgotten idea. A cloth covered face, closed eyes, images out of focus or layered behind materials; these photos are also showing the fascination with texture by integrating the materials in the shots. This also opens up the interpretation of how our real selves, our true anonymity, might still exists behind the layers and roles we put up in our now very public lives.
What inspires your photography? People doing creative things and doing them very intensely is something that really inspires me. When someone has a great passion to excel at what they are doing, it spurs an excitement in me and makes me want to capture that feeling and express it in my work. A key component of what inspires me is also based on texture. It can be anything from textures of raindrops or parts of a motorcycle, to texture of fabrics or bodies.
Are there certain themes or styles you gravitate towards? A theme I keep coming back to is transient beauty, but when I work I always try to create something I feel is unique and new regardless of if the theme is something I keep coming back to or not. For example I have recently been obsessing with ballerinas and the beauty of their dedication and pure passion for dance. Another example is a series I recently put together called Amalgamate. For the project I used multiple exposure when shooting artists and their artwork to integrate the two in order to express the relationship between person and object as another way of expressing the theme of beauty in creativity.
How important is content vs. form in your images? For me, form is much more important. I often find the form in the details of what I photograph. The form of the images are the starting point for my work and I let it shape the content, whereas the content of my images is what I organically come across on the street or in the studio.
What does your creative process look like? It’s messy to say the least. Before every shoot I start with either a concept I want explore or a feeling inspired directly from the person I’m photographing. My creative preparation can range from as little as putting down a list of ideas to creating mood boards or collaborating with a team. I prefer to shoot organically and use pre-formed ideas as a fallback rather then have them define an exact plan. When it comes to post-processing I’m very minimalistic. I like to get what I want directly in the camera and only edit to make basic changes.
What role do social media have for your work? Social media have had a dramatic impact on my photography. Instagram in particular has been instrumental in various ways for me. It offers artistic inspiration and it helps me find models to photograph and people to collaborate with. Instagram is also important for networking, which in turn, of course, leads to more photography jobs.