Austin | Archival Inkjet Print | 14" x 11" | 2015
Artist Statement: This portrait of Austin is part of a larger series titled “The Men in My House.” As the afternoon wore on during my shoot with Austin, the reflections’ brightness increased to the degree that the only way to ensure he would be in the photographs was for me to stand directly in front of the window, blocking the sunlight. This had the additional effect of putting my shadow’s outline in the frame, which I normally avoided. To see him, the viewer would have to see me. I took two shots of him in this pose before motioning for him to come closer to the window. I took a third then of his body turning in my shadow, the long edge of his penis just visible between his thigh and the hand moving down to cover it, and more than in any other photograph, he seemed to see me seeing him. It was beautiful, due in large part to the shot’s lucky timing, but I wasn’t surprised when he asked me to delete it. A disappointment. The moment of us looking at the photograph on my camera is one we’ll never be able to replicate.
Doug Paul Case is a photographer and writer based in Bloomington, where he received his MFA from Indiana University. His work has recently appeared in Salt Hill, Hobart, Court Green, and Voicemail Poems. A Queer Press released his photography chapbook, The Men in My House, in 2016, and his essay about taking this model’s portrait, “Elegy for a Photograph Deleted,” was published by Whiskey Island and listed as “notable” in The Best American Essays 2017.