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Kaine BuffongeBrock Elbank

Exploring the beauty and shame of freckles

This stunning set of portrait photographs shelves any stigma about having a face full of freckles

Following on from his photo series of follically well endowed gentlemen, Beard, which ran at Somerset House last year, photographer Brock Elbank has a new subject to confront: freckles.

Elbank’s obsession began when he was living in Sydney and playing for a Saturday football team. “My teammate’s lad Eddie, who was ten at the time, came to watch a match. He had this face full of freckles like I’d never seen before. They were very intense, he was a great looking character so I asked if I could shoot a portrait and that was the start of it,” he says.

The photographer is now midway through his two-year London-based photo project that celebrates the beauty of blemishes. People have travelled all the way from Italy and Norway to have their portrait taken for the series. When choosing his subjects, Elbank looks for “uniqueness, diversity and a wide ethnic and age mix,” he says.

Elbank, who is represented by Michael Reid Galleries, intends to show the exhibition in Sydney and Berlin in 2017, “although I really want to show in London and New York too at some point,” he says.

While Elbank’s photos celebrate the joy of freckles, another important aspect of his work is tackling the stigma often attached to them, particular for people who are subjected to bullying and grow up hating their skin. “They look different and unfortunately many folk struggle with ‘different’, which is a shame in society,” he says. “Personally I love different, it’s what keeps me going on subject matter.”

See more of Elbank’s work here. Anyone interested in being featured as part of #freckles should send a recent colour photo to

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