Found 03/2012, Goodwill (Slaughter and South First)
All portrait photography is by its nature artificial—the images, clothes, expressions, the fundamental constructed nature of the medium has not changed significantly since daguerrotype portraiture, except now its subjects are encouraged to smile.
Happy Couple is a simple couples portrait, extraordinary only in the forced nature of the image, the photographer somehow attaining a level of artificiality previously held only by film director Ed Wood. The couple embraces, looking toward a bright future in an uncertain direction. The husband’s grin edges into the predatory, a smile usually only seen in mirrors. The dark purples the couple wears almost fade into the dusty deep blue of the backdrop. This moment, the photographer seems to say with deliberate and meticulous composition, is not real.