Undiscovered talent is always a pleasure to share, especially if it is of remarkable caliber. Anyone that comes across the portfolio of Greg Ponthus will find an incredibly gifted 20 year-old. His tender portraits will catch your eye. His subdued images are understated, hinting at an undercurrent of melancholy, while not being melodramatic. There is a subtle vulnerability that he is able to capture with his subjects, as they come across as almost ethereal in the photos. It would be easy to call the collection dream-like, but they have much more depth than that.
His pastoral settings lend themselves well to his style, which is gentle, muted and restrained. Greg, who is French, currently lives in Brussels, and has been formally studying photography since last September. Luckily for him, it looks like he has taken to the craft quite perfectly, and must be an exceptional student to mentor.
His compositions, which encompass the lighting choices and colors, are all masterfully executed. Greg is able to expose fallibility in his subjects that can only be captured when a photographer is intimate with his subjects. As it turns out, Greg only uses his close friends and relatives for his projects. This is because he feels that the familiarity makes it easier for them to let down their guard. “I find it truly interesting to capture the moment where they lose themselves,” says Greg.
“I like to focus on the person, his or her look or expression,” he says. “I always try to capture uncomfortable situations, a weakness I can find or something I can’t say with my own words. I shoot with digital and film, finding in analog photography something more raw and honest.”
There unquestionably is something very magical, surreal and mature about Greg’s portraits, and his work certainly deserves a good look.
Check out his portrait work here.