For Keegan Holden, the act of photographing an unknown person sparks a “shared moment of reflection, observation, and introspection” between him and the person on the other side of the camera. As he set up his equipment along the palm tree lined Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles, where he once taught skateboarding lessons, Holden asked Firefly, a skateboarder and performer, to consider how she felt at that moment in her life. In response, she stared intently at Holden and his camera, engaging with him and the viewer.
Holden’s composition, with Firefly in the foreground and the blurred background, emphasizes the determination and daring she projects in her gaze and pose. For Holden, portraits are not only about who is depicted. Rather, he likens them to mirrors that provide a place for viewers to recognize their “emotions and vulnerabilities.”