Portraits of a Soul

a harmonious marriage between portrait photography and face reading poem.

I first read about Eric Standop as face reader from Shakti Healing Circle’s newsletter in early 2012.  I was intrigued and curious by the whole package – a German guy, an ex-corporate senior executive and a face reader!  My curiosity got the better of me and I went for my first face reading in my life.

I had no reference point to compare this face reading session against other “face readers” in the market.  However, it was an open and candid dialogue – in a way, a dialogue with myself through Eric’s face reading skills.  I got know myself better and started to recognize, acknowledge and accept certain aspects of me.

Towards the end of our meeting, Eric showed me the first photobook  of “Portraits of a Soul”. I was instantaneously captured and amazed by the depth of each image shown in this book and the person behind the camera, Richard Pilnick. 

These images were (and still are) like some kind of magnet – the uniqueness, beauty, richness and simplicity just keeps drawing my eyes to them.  As my eyes started to move between the images and the poems, I was connecting with them at a deeper level.  

As a photographer, I have often looked at some of the famous fine art photographs and questioned the values and essence behind the work.  These were the moments when I just could not 'get it' and even have said to myself quietly 'I can take the photo that is just as good and if not, better'. There were also numerous moments when I was wowed by the photographs – or more precisely, the moments captured.  Seeing Richard's work was definitely one of those "wow" moments with many exclamation marks.

The uniqueness of the “Portraits of a Soul” hits me instantly.  I love it because in any situation, to get a good portrait, it requires the photographer to be so present in the moment.  It is partly a skill to be mastered over the time and experience.  In the present digital era, it is easier as we can take multiple frames of images and hope that one of the frames has captured that single special moment.

Whereas with “Portraits of a Soul”, it takes a gifted portrait photographer to get a portrait that is so candid and rich with stories and characters captured by an analogue camera that is so simple and mechanical.  The impact of these portraits is amplified by a creative face reader, translating and articulating the richness through poems. 

Although I work mostly with my digital cameras and even my iPhone, I still love the images captured by the analogue cameras as well as the beauty of a hand-printed image.  The authenticity of that instant chemistry reactions captured in the given moment remains untouchable and beyond manipulation by Photoshop and its extended relatives.

I was so "wow" by the uniqueness of Richard's portrait photography that I even foresaw it being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  And it did happen – Richard did get his work selected and exhibited at the annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2013/2014. (The photo of a couple above was selected as the cover image for all promotional materials of this exhibition.)

I am excited to have a selection of the images from the “Portraits of Soul” being exhibited at Luxe Nova Lifestyle Studio.  Also, I am looking forward to having my portrait taken by Richard and a poem written by Eric – another way to enrich my life journey of self-discovery and fulfilling my potentials.


Book your private session with Richard and Eric.


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Luxe Nova

Luxe Nova Lifestyle Studio, 9F, V Plus, 68 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong