Embarking on a new job in 2006, I came across a cache of old corporate head shots. These photographic prints were a pre-digital relic and, outdated in multiple ways, seemed destined for the dust bin. After throwing out several manila envelopes full, however, something made me stop, and bring them home.

Soon thereafter, I visited the Asia Society in New York, and saw a show of woven photographs by the Vietnamese-American artist Din Q Le. The light bulb went off. I knew what I would do with those stiff, formal, posed corporate glossies.

What do we hope to communicate with corporate headshots? Their purposes are many, but an accurate representation of their subject may not always be uppermost among those purposes. Photography is so often expected to reveal, but these images seem calculated to conceal, to project a tightly choreographed “type” to the world, who excels in those solid qualities the business world feels itself, and the rest of us, want. The visual jargon of corporate headshots obfuscates as much as it reveals, just as the verbal jargon of business often seems bent of calling a thistle a rose, and rose anything but a rose (naming this series was as much fun as making it).

In weaving together many old headshots, a new person emerges, or is released. Eerie, haunting, complicated, maybe even human underneath that drab suit.