Last week we shared the work of photographer Stefani Greenwood, a photographer whose look at nature and people nearly blurs the line between the two. From her work, we caught wind of a frequent collaborator of hers who is also a photographer but whose gaze is focused specifically on people and, like Greenwood’s work, has the ability to change her subjects: Gilda Davidian, a photographer who is able to ground any subject in reality through her portraits.
Now, we’ve seen a lot of portrait photographers in Los Angeles but always are hung up on them being too hyper-manicured or over stylized or just slightly off. What Gilda does is bring this realness to everyone, a commonness that extends to grandmothers and young women dressed in a nude bodysuit and men in various forms of undress and even fellow photographers. They seem incredibly authentic and down to earth, particularly because of how she is able to light and use light in her photos, the colors of her photos, and how she handles subjectivity.
And, for Gilda, subjectivity is where it’s at. In a project entitled Motherland, she explores the Armenian community in Pasadena, where she grew up. She captures young people and older people in and around their homes, places of worship, and relaxation in a way that seems so very natural: even if her subjects are posed, they seem like they are caught mid-thought or in a moment when they may have forgotten a camera was there. Her portraits do a similar job, making environment or lack thereof into co-stars of the photos. They aren’t in your face or attempting at edge but are basic, raw photos of people, which is something so respectable in an artform so entrenched by people trying too hard.