Leon’s winn ing port­fo­lio in th e Times/Tabasco Youn g Pho­to­graph er of th e Year com­pe­ti­tion in­cluded th is ph oto of a youn g woman scarred by self -harm­ing

NPhoto - - Leon Neal -

In this pic­ture we don’t see the woman’s eyes. Was this to main­tain her anonymity, or purely to em­pha­sise the scar­ring?

It was a bit of both ac­tu­ally. I found that noth­ing was added to the pic­ture by in­clud­ing her face. If any­thing, it dis­tracted from the pic­ture, as I felt that the viewer would try to in­ter­pret a mood from her ex­pres­sion, rather than just think­ing about the harm that the ill­ness had caused.

It’s a pow­er­ful pic­ture.

It sounds strange, but there’s a naivety in my own tak­ing of that pic­ture. If asked to take that pic­ture to­day I’m not sure if I would be able to take some­thing so neu­tral and so clean that just tells the story of the scar­ring and noth­ing else. I would prob­a­bly try some­thing more com­pli­cated. It’s not par­tic­u­larly sharp, but there’s some­thing in the com­po­si­tion that tells the story in a sin­gle frame.

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