From Mark Olmsted’s article for The Huffington Post:

When Frank Yamrus was taking my photo, the bag I’d brought to the shoot with different outfits was left in the corner. “The solid blue shirt will work fine,” he told me. Contrary to my “Vanity Fair” photo-spread delusions of grandeur, there weren’t going to be a series of different poses all over the studio, as Frank played with wardrobe and lighting. Instead, I sat in the same chair as everyone else, close to the camera, prompted gently to let my facial expressions relax as much as possible. When Frank agreed to let me write this essay, I asked to take an advance look at some of the other photos. I saw them iPad-sized, one scrolling onto another in perfectly coordinated dimensions. My initial thought was of Portrait Day in elementary school, as each face filled exactly the same space in the frame, against the very same background.

At first, the stylistic consistency between the photos seemed an odd choice to me. For years, many of us had been thought of as “my friend with AIDS,” or “my HIV-positive uncle.” As the crisis subsided, it felt, finally, as if it was no longer the first adjective that came to mind when those we love thought of us. Shouldn’t these portraits, I thought, be an opportunity to celebrate our individuality in spite of our HIV, rather than our sameness because of it?

View the original article

Browse the series “A Sense of a Beginning” at ClampArt
Browse all of Frank Yamrus’ work at ClampArt