“I’ve often envied those who photograph life. I avoid it. I start from nothing. I make up a story which I leave untold. I imagine a situation which doesn’t exist. I wipe out the space to invent another. I shift the light. I rent everything unreal. And then I try.
I watch out for what I didn’t expect. I wait to see what I can’t remember. I undo what I put together. I hope for hazard. But more than anything, I long to be struck as I should.
So I walk around the model. I look at her endlessly. Face. Profile. Back. Upside down. Top to toe. I change the angles. I cheat the perspective. I fancify the trade. I don’t know anymore. Nothing but emptiness around. As the model has only one place, I’m looking for mine. I can’t find it. I want to be somewhere else. I keep on. I hang on to shapes. The curve of the neck. The folds of the dress. The gesture of the hand. The balance of the hips.
The model moves slowly. She suggests. She tries to understand what I can’t explain. She tries to play a part I can’t follow. I hear myself saying no no do nothing. So again she waits. She stares at me. She sees my panic. I feel I’m letting her down. I feel guilty. So I press the button. I say it’s great. Yes. I pretend. Once, twice, thirty six times. I hope and I begin again. Time goes by. Light falls. I lose confidence. I don’t want to be a photographer anymore.
Then all of a sudden, but not always, something changes. I can’t say why. Maybe I’m just in the right place at the right time. Or maybe I believe in it. However, for a split second I see a sparkle of beauty passing by. Or is it simply the difference or the surprise? However, everything goes so quickly now within that stillness. And I’m carried away and at last I like what I see and I can’t stop finding it then losing it. And all day long I’ll keep on. Because it once existed.”
– Sarah Moon