In 2015, the photographer Brock Elbank embarked on a series of portraits to celebrate the beauty of freckles. The result is an intimate series of freckled faces, each with a story to tell. Freckled skin or, to give it its proper name, ephelides, runs in families and is most common in white people with fair skin and red hair, but it occurs in people of all ethnicities. Although freckles intensify with exposure to the sun, they are now generally thought not to be a sign of sun damage. They generally appear when a child is about seven, and from then on will fade and intensify according to the time of year. There are many who appreciate the beauty of freckled skin, but it may at last be having a more mainstream 'fashion moment' as red-haired models become more common in the media and those with more unusual appearances gain currency. Elbank has always been drawn to unique characters, and for him beauty is 'finding something so incredible that it's unique'. 'I've always loved freckles, ' he says. He was inspired to start the series after photographing his son's freckly friend in 2012. 'What I find interesting about the individual characters that I have been fortunate enough to photograph is that many have struggled with their freckles since their infancy and either hated them, or grown to live with them or even like them in adulthood.' He says that many of his subjects come to the studio feeling awkward or vulnerable, but leave feeling liberated after seeing their portraits. This beautiful book, impeccably produced and lovingly photographed, will appeal to lovers of portraiture and of the human body, as well as--of course--to those with freckles themselves.
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