As Lexi at Subjectify points out in her fascinating post on women in photography, "the internet can sometimes make itself a small place".
Absolutely, and sometimes too small. But then again, that smallness does have its advantages so it was lovely to get a lovely email from Vanessa Winship, saying she follows the blog and clarifying some points on the authorship of her Sweet Nothings work.
"These portraits are something of a departure for me ( though not
entirely) and partly the reason for this was what I consider the
problem of presumed absence of the photographer especially in
reportage style photography, which plays/alludes very much to this idea.
For me this has become a huge issue.
In the portraits I wanted to created this space for the girls ,
but I also wanted to create images that were so direct so much about
being face to face, that there is no possibility of denying my
presence ( and therefore that of the viewer) in fact it is a very
conscious effort to address this question.
When I make an image i am very much part of the whole process, the
whole construct, I bring with me all of my baggage, they are
absolutely emotionally loaded if you like.
So the structure of the technique is one thing, the space I create is
one thing, and of course finally what happens between myself and my
subject (these small vulnerable girls in this case..and me too for
I want to say I am absolutely present and responsible, not absent and
passive....this is in fact meant to be anti passive...."
Which is really clear but I still think that withdrawal, that creation of a space, despite the performance of the dance of the large-format, though not passive, does allow something that is not part of herself to come in, that does have an authenticity that is tied both to Winship's anti-performance and the noumenal entity that is those children. They're truthful in other words, and it's not just Winship's truth.
A lot of people try to do that and use a similar method - the internet is a small place - follow the links - but not many people succeed. Winship does, both because of who she is and the way she photographs, but also because of who she photographs.