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Sean Openshaw

My name is Sean Openshaw and I'm an editorial, portrait, sports and event photographer living in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Is a photograph the best 1,000 words?

March 24, 2020

A photograph can instantly reveal hundreds of descriptive words about me.

The color of my eyes. The shade of my dress. Details about where I rest.

Can a photograph depict the nuances of my personality? The shape, yes, perhaps reason in my smile. A sideways glance and the nuanced attitude behind my mask?

“Oh, that photo captured you so perfectly,” I hear. But what does that really mean?

A photograph can instantly tell volumes about me. Yes. When my guard is down, I might reveal a glimpse into who I am.

With a look. An expression. A telling glance. What words depict my style?

We are all so much more than what meets the eye.

I’m not saying a photograph can’t reveal something in that brief second.

I’m a dancer. I’m a runner. I’m a soccer player.
I’m this certain age and I wear this outfit to match.
But how do you know what’s true?
How did you profile me in that one instant?
Look at me and can you know. Really know. Much about me?
Maybe how committed I am to this moment, this pose, this expression you see me in.

Of course it’s how I look.

But is it me?

In this fleeting moment, I’m so much more the person that appears in your lens.

How have I misled you at this moment? This glance.

Shadows and tones as much a reflection of the photographer’s skill as a glimpse into my soul. A partial truth or flat-out lie, from both sides of the camera.

What actual 1,000 words best describe me?

What I hope to become.
What’s shaped me to this moment.
Hopes. Fears. Dreams and aspirations.

Let me recite to you, THOSE words.

I’ve tricked you with this photograph.

Now listen to who I really am.

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