About Tim Keane

What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound than a portrait?”
-- Charles Baudelaire


I make portraits because I’m curious. I want to see what someone looks like - to discover, explore and reveal people and assess what they are thinking and feeling. These photographs contain layers of ambiguity that beg for a second glance. Perhaps it’s the fleeting glimpse in the motion of the world that has been frozen. In that second look, I find insights that weren’t apparent at the exact moment of image capture. My aspirational goal is to make pictures that are unscripted, momentary, revealing, intimate, vulnerable, and a bit voyeuristic.

Photo by Greg Gorman


Often my settings are minimal to focus on the subject and eliminate distractions - to encourage the viewer to see. Environmental context can work some of the time but can also introduce distractions that set the viewer at a safer remove. I seek personal interaction.

Seeing light and its impact is almost as important to me as the connection itself. But it is secondary. Shadow and reflection add dimension, but only when there is someone to add dimension to.

Every session starts with some mutual trepidation. Is there going to be a relationship here? Can we both relax, and be present? How do we both manage tension? Can we create a space for reflection? Sometimes, a photograph will display something to the subject they don’t recognize. Is it a discovery? An incongruity in their self-awareness? A happy insight?

Like poetry, photography is not often improved with narrative.

Friends may say I have an anti-authoritarian streak. How it plays into all of this is yet to be revealed. My creative outlet and my focus are developing this body of work as well as discovering additional stories that matter to me.

Hope and persistence spring eternal.

Tim Keane