In the middle of April, Netflix quietly uploaded the Platon episode of its excellent 2017 docuseries “Abstract: The Art of Design” to YouTube, where you can watch it for free, even if you don’t have a subscription. It’s not an exaggeration to call this a must-watch.
If you’re not familiar with the series, and you’re a Netflix subscriber, we highly recommend you check it out. Every aspect of design—from illustration, to typography, to photography—is covered in individual 45-minute long episodes that feature a creator who is at the top of their game.
But even if you’re not a Netflix subscriber, you can now watch the photography episode, featuring world-renowned portrait photographer Platon, for free on YouTube.
Platon’s portfolio speaks for itself. But it’s not just the people in front of his camera that make the work extraordinary, his images stand out because they’re immediately recognizable as ‘Platon’ photo, distinct from almost any other portrait on the planet. This short documentary covers Platon’s personal history, his philosophy as a photographer, and his process as he prepares for a shoot, tagging along as he photographs former National Security Advisor and Retired General Colin Powell.
The episode is packed full of brilliant insights into the photographic process, and how to elevate your work from snapshot, to a photograph that’s worthy of the name.
“Taking a picture is very technical, but 99.9% is spent on this connection that allows me to reach someone, and through that connection, there’s just a chance you’re gonna feel something too,” he says at one point. “You’re looking for a moment when you feel as close to the soul as possible […] That’s when you make an icon.”
There’s not much more to say by way of introduction, check out the full episode up top. And if you watch this and want to see more, dive into the PetaPixel archives to hear the story behind his photo shoot with Vladimir Putin, his portrait of nine civil rights heroes, and more.