These images are part of the series ‘In The American West’ by Richard Avedon which personally i consider to be the finest example of his work. Avedon travelled across America taking portraits of interesting people he met. I think the most important thing to note about these images is the background, Avedon removes the environment and contexts in which he found his models forcing the viewer to concentrate solely on the portrait. In doing so he also makes his subject look even more out of the ordinary, enhancing the ‘freak show’ aesthetic that makes these images so enticing to the viewer. Avedon is a major influence in my personal work, in my documentary photography i often keep the same neutral background with different subjects across the series (I’ll include some examples in a later post). Basically check out his work for a masterclass in portraiture.