Maki “The spiritual artist”

She is one of the best face I photographed. Nov 3rd, 2010.

In my life, I have seen lots of weird faces. I never pay any attention as if looking could be an offense to them. Remembering those faces I feel like making an endless portrait session for them. Usually I meet them in public place and it is impossible to portray them in any way. Neither do I have an idea how the portrait should look like.

An opportunity came when in November 2010 I was in Bali for my first portrait exhibition. The owner of the gallery, Adriaan Palar had a guest who is a healing artist from Japan. Her name is Maki. She attended the exhibition opening with her husband and children. In fact my exhibition was also a part of my spiritual journey in searching my true self after long years of self denial and chaotic life. Working in commercial photography you are used to please other people and always think in term of satisfying lots of audience who look at your images. So it is unimaginable for me, what or how should I please my self after eighteen years of pleasing others. There are lots of ordinary things happened during the days in Bali and I tried not to miss any one of them.

The next day after opening of the exhibition Maki came for some business with Adriaan’s daughter, and when she was almost left, my heart started to pound hard and I sensed it as an urgency to do something with it. I already looked and studied her face and honestly was so eager to portray her. Adriaan was there with me watching when she said good bye to him and he murmured to me “such an unusual face and very unique”. I said “Indeed. I want to shoot some shots of her face” and he said “go after her and shoot it”, so I ran after her while Adriaan wife asking Maki to pose for me.

She only had a few minutes before leaving for airport so I had to shoot her in short time possible. I asked her to stand in front of stoned wall with natural lighting of open shade. It was around four in the afternoon so the light is pretty subdued there.

In early shots she smiled naturally, it was nice but I thought I want to come up with unusual image besides she has unique look and I did not want to waste it. So I asked her to be cool with no smile on, just looked straight to the lens. The rest of the shots were some moment captured making sure I got the right look.

I tried to listen to my heart and be my self in portraying this image, ignoring my past role in commercial world as much as I can. The picture tell the true self of Maki with no extra touch ups or manipulation as in commercial way.