A portrait – something that seems so simple to take and yet is so complex. It takes an incredible talent to make a simple, yet good, portrait. To be able to strip away the unnecessary clutter, the outer facade and get to the heart of the person. To be able to get to what really matters. Shooting portraits like that, when all you have is just the subject to work with, as a photographer, you are no longer looking at the environment or the props. You have to be able to see more than just the superficial. It is not a gift everyone has, but you definitely know it when you see it. You may not be able to explain what makes these portraits unique or special, but you know there is something there – an element that doesn’t exist in mere snapshots, whether you call it the “essence” of the person or their “soul” or whatever. There is a depth to them that stands out. Stephan Vanfleteren clearly has that talent. His black and white portraits are stripped bare. His subjects are vulnerable, almost naked, to the viewer. They say the eyes are the window to the soul and Vanfleteren has truly captured that.
[via Photography Blog]