Paul Schatzberger — fine art photography


[story below]




As Michael* walks into my surgery lighting up a fag-end the receptionists are fumigating the waiting room. 

   Michael is a big man with complex health needs and no fixed abode whom I meet in 1998 while he is staying in a local guest house. For the first time I feel compelled to photograph a patient for non-clinical reasons. I have to tell the story that this man's face portrays. 

   When I have got to know him I ask Michael's permission to make a photograph, which he seems happy to give. He signs a proper model release form. I feel unsure whether this is really informed consent. I ask him what his mother would think if she came across this portrait one day if it happened to be exhibited or published somewhere. "She'd be made up", Michael says.

   After a while I don't see him again. I don't know where he is now or how he is or even whether he is still alive. For me the memory of Michael endures with or without the portrait, but others need to see this photograph to get the picture.

[*name changed]

Paul Schatzberger

November 2012