Alec Soth

Personal Space

Alec Soth, member of Magnum since 2008, documents people and places. He uses an 8×10 camera. Important for him is to photograph a person when he or she is at ease. He said: “My own awkwardness comforts people, I think. It’s part of the exchange.”

The use of a large format camera brings about a softness that corresponds with the photographed subjects. The softness equals the comfortableness of the person photographed. As if Soth has found a way to reduce his own presence  to that of the comfortable vibe a person has in their own personal space. And looking at his projects (Sleeping by the Mississippi, Broken Manual, The last days of W and others) he manages to truly tell a story by creating a mix of portraits, landscapes and interiors. As if we, the audience, get a look into a world we know not much about. A world that only comes about when a stranger is not present.