This is a series of portraits shot early in the morning. I set up the camera and lighting the day before. I then got the key to the person’s apartment, and walked into their home the next morning while they were still sleeping. When I turned on the lights, I had instructed them to sit up in bed, and I would take the photo.

Everyone experience waking up from sleep in different ways. Someone can be excited about the opportunities of a new day, someone can think it is hard to get up from bed, while some can get filled with anxiety when they realize a new day awaits.
I did not personally want to know any of the models. This because I think it would have affected their expressions. I wanted to achieve an expression that was more neutral towards me as a photographer.

In Morning Portraits I wanted to test the traditional portrait photography through letting the persons sit up right and look directly in to the camera, but at the same time add something non-traditional to the setting. Through capturing people in the morning, just after they have awake, I could capture something personal and bare. I came up with this idea that I discovered as the closest to my goal: To portray facial expressions that was as little as possible affected by posing.
I contacted most of the persons through phone and about half of the people I called wanted to participate in the Morning Portraits project. I think those persons who participated did it because they were curious and interested in the idea. Some of them were hesitant about how they would react when I would come in the morning. If they would get scared or even attack me… Some people said that they thought of me as a strange person doing such a thing.

My most rememberable situation during the project didn´t have anything to do with the photographing itself, but something that happened on the way in to a model’s home early in the morning. It turned out I was trying to get in to the wrong apartment, when a person opened the door asked me what I was doing!
Morning Portraits has been an experimental project where I wanted to discover the outcome.

Hanne Larsen