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Posts by: Gemma Padley

Photographers Take Portraits of Photographers for ‘The Swap’

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Left: Jack Davison by Freya Williams. Right: Freya Williams by Jack Davison

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Left: Marisa Gertz by Alex Thebez. Right: Alex Thebez by Marisa Gertz

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Left: Matt Eich by Amanda Lucier. Right: Amanda Lucier by Matt Eich

A photographer’s natural habitat is behind the camera, but what happens when he or she steps in front of it? You get images like those in The Swap, an on-going portrait project by curator and photographer, Stuart Pilkington. Since August 2013, Pilkington, who lives in Northwich, Cheshire, UK, has been assembling a collection of pairs of portrait images taken by photographers of each other. The concept is simple – a photographer takes a photograph of another photographer who then takes a photograph of him or her. The pairing is then displayed on a dedicated website. To date, Pilkington has shown in the region of 200 pairings, encompassing a variety of approaches – from photomontages, to close-up portraits, portraits where the person’s eyes are closed or he or she is looking to the side, environmental portraits, portraits taken in photobooths, in black and white, in color, and even the odd group portrait snuck in for good measure. “There have been so many different voices and people have used so many different techniques to create their images,” says Pilkington, who has been curating projects like The Swap for about seven years. “I love portraiture, and I hope the project shows that portrait photography is not just about traditional approaches – it can be so much more than that.”

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