The Honest Portrait

Hayward started shooting The Honest Portrait in early 2017 and it is ongoing. Since then he has shot over fifty subjects ranging from models and actors to poets and priests. The Honest Portrait has it’s origins in Hayward's purchase of a specially painted backdrop and his desire to isolate his subjects against it. ‘Prior to moving to New York in 1996 I had spent 15 years in the darkroom and that continued here until 2006. Although the Honest Portraits are captured digitally the subjects themselves are minimally retouched. The backdrop is manipulated by dodging, burning and bleaching, much as I would have done it in the darkroom’. 

In the Honest Portrait there are 2 constants. The backdrop and the use of a single light source. ‘From the outset I decided to keep everything consistent. The backdrop is the supporting character in every picture. It helps to define each subject and takes on a life of its own’.

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