“I have something to tell you.”
It is with this loaded phrase that self-taught photographer Adrain Chesser sets his scene, creating a series of intimate, surprising portraits as a means of telling friends and family that he has been diagnosed with AIDS. Desperately apprehensive, Chesser uses photography to capture the pivotal moment of each relationship in his life, forever changed by a single, spoken word. Though deeply personal, I Have Something to Tell You exposes a universal fear and foreboding of the unknown. Each sitter having no knowledge of what was about to occur, the prefacing phrase reveals a portrait of individual history and experiences associated with those words. It is in this uncertain pause that we grow to know the person at their most vulnerable state of wondering and ambiguity. The aftermath left a mystery, Chesser concludes that while these photos are certainly the worst photographs taken of his friends, they are undoubtedly the most beautiful.
Chesser’s book The Return has recently been published by Daylight Books.