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behind the scenes

What began as a personal project of large scale portraits, Pictures of Poets quickly evolved to become a state-wide initiative. Originally inspired by artist, Chuck Close and British photographer, Platon, Spokane photographer, Dean Davis found additional inspiration after attending a poetry reading at the 2017 Spokane Arts Awards. Davis created a multi-disciplinary, multi-media experience showcasing both the portraits and poetry. Headphones are recommended to best experience this website.

The lighting for this project is as straightforward as it gets. A single overhead light punched through an umbrella. In 20+ years as a professional photographer, I have never used this lighting style. You can click here to view my other work.


The photography and audio for this project, to date, has spanned the state of Washington from La Connor, to Ellensburg to Spokane. It is my intention to continue to add poets to project for the foreseeable future, perhaps expanding the scope beyond Washington and the Northwest.

While the initial intention was to have the viewer stand in front of these large scale prints, earphones in, and experience a personal “moment” with the poet, I believe this website will stand on its own to offer its own unique interaction with these poets.