These Portraits Celebrate The Joy Of Having Freckles

Photographer Brock Elbank has sought out “incredible-looking humans” for his photo project #Freckles.

British photographer Brock Elbank is halfway through his two-year photo project to create vivid portraits of people with freckles. Having photographed 90 subjects already, Elbank is aiming to collect 150 portraits before he exhibits his celebration of freckles in 2017.

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Elliott Brown (left) and Elouise.

When Elbank was living in Sydney he met his friend’s son Eddie at a football match. Eddie had a face full of the most freckles Elbank had ever seen. “He was a great-looking character,” Brock tells BuzzFeed, “so I asked John if I could shoot a portrait and that was the start of the idea in early 2012.”

Elbank started #Freckles full-time in mid-2015 after he had moved back to the UK.

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Asha Chantilou (left) and George Hard.

“I’ve always loved freckles,” says Elbank. “What I find interesting about 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.”

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Tsiu Kim (left) and Isabel Lagbo.

“Many of the subjects shot so far are such incredible-looking humans … amazing-looking individuals from all walks of life. People really are the most incredible subjects to photograph. Each time I travel on the London underground I see dozens of individuals I would love to photograph.”

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Leah Sheehan (left) and Emily Cole.

Elbank is often asked what photographic process he uses to create such vivid and unique portraits. “My process is simple,” he says. “I don’t use UV lights or any gimmicks, I have a post-production process that takes about four hours per portrait.”

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Kaine Buffonge (left) and Ivy.

Elbank even did an interview in France where they sent his photos to a cosmetic company to verify their authenticity. “What would be the point of doing a freckles series with people without freckles?” says Elbank. “You simply have to look at their Instagram feeds to see how freckly they are!”

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Mania Mackowski (left) and Pippa George.

While working with his freckly subjects, Brock heard many stories of how they hated their freckles as children and were teased at school for their appearance, with some girls covering them up with makeup. “This is what fascinates me when photographing people: what they’ve struggled with through life. This is what I tend to find beautiful and striking in a person.

“One subject I shot in September for the series spent a good three to four hours with me after the portrait, talking about how they felt as a kid, bullied, rejected at school for their appearance, which really shocked me as I found this individual amazing-looking.”

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Romy Rooijakkers (left) and Josh Hardwick.

Elbank is still looking for subjects to take part in his #Freckles photo project, which is being shot in London. If you’re interested, you can apply by emailing him (studio@mrelbank.com) with a “very clear, straight-on, passport-style colour photo, with no makeup.” You can follow Elbank and his project on Instagram.

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

Brock Elbank / mrelbank.com

 

Sean Conway (left) and Natasha Culzac.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Matt Tucker is the UK picture editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
 
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