Photographer Tom Dingley’s motivations behind this photography book are quite inspirational. Sensing a lack of positive role models for same-sex attracted you people, he began photographing gay, bi and transgender people holding photos of their younger self.
Taken over a two-year period, Outcome: LGBT Portraits is the end result. The models are primarily ordinary people representing where they are in life now – wearing their work uniforms, costumes or casual clothing as appropriate.
The models range from dancer Ross Williams and actress Alicya Eyo through to everyday managers, photographers, students, poets, financial advisers and more. The collection covers a good range of ages and occupations.
Most of the photos are accompanied by a short spiel about the model but there lies the most interesting part. The photos themselves offer little variety, other than the clothing and a few unique poses. At approximately 170 pages, there is far too much similarity in the images to be a page turner. All backgrounds are plain white, compounding the lack of variety.
Dingley’s message is “no matter how hard it is growing up, no matter who you were, you become who you become, and you are amazing.” It’s a positive and necessary message in a world that often celebrates conformity over individuality, so the irony is not lost on his choice of photos. In the time it has taken Dingley to collect this portfolio of photos, and with the range of people he has captured with his camera, it’s both surprising and disappointing that there is such little creativity in an otherwise great idea.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 5
Distributed by: Inpress
Release Date: October 2016
RRP: £25 paperback