Portrait by Carl Finkbeiner                                                      

Statement

As a Canadian portrait photographer exploring the intersection between fine art and documentary work, I make images revealing authentic expressions and gestures often kept private. To achieve this subtle emotional complexity, I use a lengthy, often psychological process involving intense conversation paired with reflection and visualization by the subject.

I plan to continue developing this process through a variety of projects, both in and out of the studio, while further examining the psychology of portraiture for both photographer and sitter. As a Canadian living in the United States since 2014, I also want to do work that helps people abroad interpret American culture and politics. I prefer projects which are counter-intuitive, complicated-but-accessible and engage as broad an audience as possible.

Bio

I have published, exhibited and sold photographic work in North America, as well as internationally. My most-recent studio portrait project, Philly Style, which captures the personal style of 51 people, was exhibited at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center in April/May 2019. I am enrolled in the University of Houston’s Photography/Digital media program and hold a Certificate in Contemporary Practices from the PPAC.

Having lived and worked as an artist, journalist and entrepreneur on four continents helps me quickly achieve rapport with a wide range of portrait subjects. The founder of EDGE YK, an alternative magazine based in Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, I'm strongly influenced by journalistic storytelling. That said, I've found a strict documentary approach to the medium can be creatively limiting.

In 2002, while living in Toronto, I first learned to make images using a 35mm SLR originally purchased to photograph me as a child. On every roll, one frame contained something worth sharing. Though I now better understand this intangibility, creating it still drives me. Today, I see photography as an increasingly democratic visual lingua franca used to disseminate ideas in art and culture. Some of my influences include psychological portrait photographer Marcel Sternberger, Alec Soth and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Using Format