Dec 19, 2017, Hermitage (Amsterdam)

As old winner of the Dutch National Portrait Award I wrote this piece and gave this recitation
about portraits photographers during the announcement event of the new winner.

Portrait photographers are sensitive people hunters. They make life itself a hunting ground.
They are always on. To walk a day on the street without looking at people is impossible.
There is always a multi-dimensional visor and it's activated.

They see the inside and the outside. They pretend they do not see everything.
They put you at ease and meanwhile the knives are sharpened to put them deep in the flesh.

Everything is captured.

They love skin, they hunt your fur. They are crazy about different shades.
From the young skin to skin over bone. The old tough wrinkly cloth is certainly not spared.
Moles, hairs, flakes, blood vessels, eczema, warts, dimple, scabs, scars, varicose veins, wrinkles,
pimples, greasy bumps and strange deformities are only seen as extra value.

If it exists, it may be seen.

They love bodies. They scan and scout. From the strongest to the weakest.
From the tasty naked ass to the sick and stinking bodies. Thick buttocks, bellies, long legs.
Grade lean, between buddy, creeper, outsiders, lanky, slender, slender and rough.
Pudding Tarzan and Scarlet Johansson. Nobody escapes, everything has a value.

They also love status, egos and uniforms. But especially because it is part of the hunt.
Dismantling the uniform and reducing the status to a value that is equal.
Integrity does not exist at such a moment, only respect and curiosity.
Gentle healers make stinking wounds. The masks sometimes have to be shot as
plastic targets in a fairground shooting gallery.

Intervention is good. A pet against a cigar in the mouth of a president or a trick about a dead-ridden dog.
It may be wringing, rubbing and becoming uncomfortable, silences may fall, ... Sweat on your forehead
a pounding heart is all good. There is only one goal and that is to leave with a striking portrait.

That's it ... That's what we do. Hunting with feeling and intuition. The hunt for an image of a Human.
A universal representation of yourself reflected in another. Regardless of who, regardless of status.
No one escapes, everyone has a value. A human value. If you exist then you may be seen.

- Sander Troelstra -