An extremely powerful exhibition of portrait photography is now on view at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Encounter: Photographs by Jed Fielding features numerous street portraits that make you feel the strangers you see have somehow become your friends. Because that’s the very personal way Jed Fielding approaches his subjects.
The photographs are full of life, smiles, eye contact, playfulness, emotion, sincerity, vulnerability, pride, sadness, freedom. Kids at play in Naples, Italy are pleased to stop for a moment and shyly grin. A mixture of more subtle emotions appear openly in the faces of those who’ve grown older.
I was particularly moved by photos Jed Fielding took of blind children in Mexico City. As his camera shutter clicked, small hands were doing their own seeing. In one photograph fingers reached up to feel the lens.
In those portraits of blind children, more than the others, not a soul wears a mask. Every expression is unaffected, absolutely genuine.
It’s an authentic connection between people that makes these photos so powerful. So alive.
Encounter: Photographs by Jed Fielding is on display at MOPA through September 25, 2022.