Discuss as:

'The Image, Deconstructed' spotlights photographer Rob Finch and his intimate image of life ending with dignity

Excerpted from 'The Image, Deconstructed':

Photographer Rob Finch:

In this photograph, Lovelle is drinking the lethal barbiturate that will end her life. I am trying to make this photograph as unobtrusively as possible. I am damning the sound of the shutter – which sounds more like a boom than a click. I suppose I was tense. I did not know what was going to happen. Would she die immediately? Would she throw up? Would a family member try to stop her? Looking back, it still gives me chills. I have photographed death in many different situations – natural causes, epic acts of nature, violence – but this was a totally different experience. This was the actual act of a person ending her own life. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.


The reality of any intimate story is that you must give of yourself if you expect people to open up to you. It's simple advice but difficult to do. You are there because of your job. They are living their real life. If you are not empathic to them, you will never gain access to their lives. Those feelings must be real and genuine. You cannot fake it. Never think about your subjects as compositional elements. Respect them. Give of yourself. Treat them how you want to be treated. It's basic life stuff and they teach it in preschool.

To learn more about Rob Finch, Lovelle Svart and his approach to telling her story, visit 'The Image, Deconstructed'.