i think about portraits a lot. it’s a special thing when one catches my eye, and i’ve always been drawn to this one of william eggleston, camera in hand, by maude clay. it’s no secret that people tend to shine when doing their thing, but i know that taking a portrait of a photographer isn’t the easiest feat regardless. my obsession with this image prompted me to daydream about what a glorious challenge such a project would be: portraits of photographers. turns out that stuart plinkington, a curator in london, beat me to the punch with his next-level version that involves photographers from all over the world. he calls it “the swap.”
when stuart contacted me about participating in the swap, maude’s portrait of william immediately came to mind. i suggested that maude and i be a pairing. i figured it was a long shot, but as luck would have it, stuart had just been corresponding with maude that very same day, and she had agreed to participate.
when i researched maude, i was amazed to see that she lives in a small town in mississippi, just minutes from the spot where my mother lived for the last 15 years. my mother recently relocated to california, so knowing that i wouldn’t be visiting mississippi anytime soon, i wrote to maude with some words of praise and a brief tale of our almost-connection.
this is where it gets really good. maude responded that she was planning to visit the bay area the following week, and we made a date to meet in the redwoods. cheers to a serendipitous encounter, maude’s portrait of william, stuart’s project, and a little perseverance. here’s my maude and here’s her me.