Photos I Wish I Had Taken

Photos I Wish I Had Taken: Phil Borges

Photo: Phil Borges

Photo: Phil Borges

As I am want to do on a Sunday morning, I was surfing the web looking for images that spoke to me in some way. Photos that made me stop and look and then look some more. I’m always in pursuit of something that will inspire me to see the world differently. Pictures that will open my mind to new compositions and techniques. So while I wish I had taken both of these photos, the specific images are not my focus today. It’s their “look” that have me besotted.

I’m envious of photographers that have developed a unique style that is instantly recognizable. I often feel as if I am all over the place with my photography. I’m want to find my own signature but so far its been elusive. (P.S. I hope I am successful sooner than later because the quest is a big pain in the butt.)


Photo: Phil Borges

Photo: Phil Borges

Today I found Phil Borges, a photographer whose photos have a look that sets his work apart from the rest. Besides capturing portraits that leap off the screen, his processing is distinctive. He edits his photos with an unusual gray and flesh tone palette. The final result is compelling, powerful, soft and all his own.

What do you think of these pictures?


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75 replies »

  1. Even with her lips sealed tightly…the little girl’s photograph is so evocative! With that ball in her hand…it is most definitely the tone difference in the palette that makes it so raw and life like!
    Thanks once again Susan…for bringing such beautiful photos to enjoy!
    And good luck in your quest to find your own signature style 🙂 I’m sure quite a few of your photos would have already made it to the “photos I wish I had taken” lists of fellow photographers around the globe!

  2. You’re right, those pictures are so beautiful and has a unique touch.
    It’s not easy to develop our own “signature”, but I’m pretty sure you’ll find your own soon!

  3. I love these pictures! They are really distinctive and artistic! I am so new with photography still, that it will take a loooong time before I will get to this stage, but it is a great inspiration!!

  4. I was attracted by the little girl. I love the way Phil captured her clear and bright eyes! The picture seems to be taken in the Tibet? I’ve never been there, but wish to and will definitely visit one day. She seems to be nervous with her lips clamped tight. Tibetan people believe in and respect religion. Although the little girl is not rich in material aspect, she seems to be good in spiritual aspect.

  5. I know exactly what you mean. I too am working on creating a unique style that will set me apart from the rest. It’s a difficult thing to do and takes a long time to develop. I’m very new to photography so I know I have a long way to go…but here’s to hoping that we both find our unique space pretty soon aye! 😊

    • That’s not my photo. It is a photo I Wish I had taken.. hence the name of the article. I admire his imagery and the unique look that is now his signature. My work can be seen from the blog itself. I like my images, but I don’t think I have a “look” per se where my photos could be picked out of a pile and identified as mine. 🙂

  6. Beautiful photos and subjects. I am fond of Roland Barthes book, Camera Lucida, and due to reading that book along the path of my educational journey in the realm of English and American literature, I developed an interest in photography (not taking photos, but viewing them and thinking about them). The idea of a subject looking into a camera is fascinating because it involves both a primary gaze and a secondary gaze; someone is holding the camera. I think of the “gaze” in a Lacanian sense (Jacques Lacan) in that most subjects intuit a negative gaze upon them, though they are not conscious that they do so. The camera presents an obvious “gaze,” but one which also presents the subject with the awareness that someone is “seeing” them. Both of the subjects in these photos stare directly into the camera, and we do not know the relationship between them and the photographer. In the top photo, the child seems to be (almost) displaying a piece of fruit or a stone (cannot quite tell) for the photographer, and yet the hands seem to tenuously hold the object, as if it may or may not be valuable to the viewer. In the bottom photography, the hands are much more confident, which goes along with the age of the subject, and the jewelry stands out, perhaps as a sign of status? The style you mention, using gray and flesh tones, provides understatement and also a rich beauty. I would suspect that you have a style already but perhaps you have not solidified it or articulated it with words? Thanks for posting these images. Love them.

  7. The portraits are beautiful. I think the limited palette and the desaturated colours really help focus the eye on the characteristics of the individual subjects.

    Finding your own instantly recognized style is also a major pain in the butt with art too. Best of luck with your quest.

  8. I agree with you Susan, these do have a distinctive look. The one of the child reminds me of a portrait in paint, and the gray tones in the second look fresh and modern. I also can’t help but notice he included the subjects’ hands, which tell a story as much as their faces do. Thank you for sharing…enjoy your Sunday.

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