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
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.