The Collectors

Legitimately a series about people’s stuff.

This idea occurred to me years ago, but at the time I didn’t have the means for execution (so, basically any shoot I come up with ever.) I don’t know why, but this summer I decided I wasn’t putting it off anymore, and I was going to do this series at last.

And I adore it to pieces.

I love seeing what people collect and why. It is so fascinating, the things people collect, and it goes beyond collecting erasers or rocks (which are great to collect, btw.) Some have big collections, some have small, some have strange collections and some have collections of things no one has ever heard of. It is fantastic.

But hey, look for yourself:

Me and my rubber duckies are so fabulous, even Ernie from Sesame Street is foaming at the mouth in a jealous rage.

I chose the set up carefully. I thought about photographing people in their homes with their collections, but I just had a gut feeling that wouldn’t yield the results I wanted. Putting people on a white background felt organic to me– the sitter would be isolated, with no distractions, with their objects. The viewer can only focus on them and their collection, which is spectacular, to draw conclusions and shatter expectations. I asked my sitters to relax their face and not smile, something I learned from working with Jochen Gertz and his project, The Gift.

Also I didn’t want these to look like senior portraits. #bye

With a neutral expression, the focus is on what I intended: the individual and their relationship with objects.

So, yeah! These are the first 9 images, and I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon. I have even more of these to edit currently, but I wanted to give you guys a little background on this project.

Do you collect anything?

Happy Shooting!

Our Trip to the Zoo Was, Uh…

For months, I have been itching to go to the zoo to take photographs. When I saw Impossible Project’s [Animal] Skins Edition film, I knew I wanted to go to the zoo, probably with animal masks. It all snowballed from there. In like, a catastrophic avalanche of awesome.

It was incredible.

I had seven wonderful people with me on this shoot, and each and every one of them looked absolutely ridiculous. We got plenty of stares. Just simply magical.

I was a bit nervous, thinking about the possibility of us getting in trouble for any reason, (not allowed to wear masks in the zoo? maybe?) because I had been prepared for this for forever and I didn’t want anything to get in the way. Imagine, having this idea in your head for months, gathering the things you need, and then BAM! Just kidding, no photos for you.

SO STORY TIME

Me and my clique were standing in line to get our tickets, and there was a table of Zoo-Worker-People nearby, like some beneficiary group or whatnot. And they were staring us down. We were a little nervous, but when they smiled at us, we calmed down. But, just as we were walking up to get our tickets–

“Wait,” an official sounding voice said.

That was it. It was game over. Goodbye, hopes and dreams.

It was one of the ladies from the table. She walked over to us and said, “I just want to say, we really love your outfits. Your enthusiasm is great.”

I was expecting a “but, you can’t follow your hearts desire and shoot a really fun photo series in our land where the peacocks roam, because the gorillas will judge you and we can’t have that.” My heart sank, waiting for her to ruin my life.

Instead, she continued, “We love it so much, we’re going to give you free tickets to the zoo today, and a free lunch!”

Moral: Dressing up your friends as ridiculous as possible definitely has its merits.

Our lunch was in the event tent thing, I assume for beneficiaries, and we got plenty of dirty looks, but we also had people coming up to talk to us, asking what we were doing, telling us they loved our outfits, and got their picture with us. It was awesome. Some kids also wanted their picture with my posse, but they were so shy and they were standing like 5 feet away from the group. I can’t even with the cuteness.

Every now and then, it’s important to play. Doing a photo shoot just for fun without any deep conceptual meaning was refreshing, and just what I needed before heading off to graduate school in the fall.

Happy Shooting!

 

Projector Photography

After months of waiting, I finally got to play with a projector.

Firstly, I had to order one. Finding one at a reasonable price was my first problem.

The second problem was the only affordable ones were from China.

Third was waiting for it.

Forth was signing out the studio.

And, today, when I opened the box, I discovered that the plug was for Asian outlets, not North American. One emergency trip to Meijer later, and the problem was solved.

THEN I needed AAA batteries for the remote. One emergency trip to my best friend’s room, and that problem was solved.

So, much adversity came my way, but, y’know, if I didn’t have to struggle it wouldn’t be a normal day.

SO ON TO THE PHOTOS.

My lovely friend Lisa posed for me today. I had a few ideas written down as to what I wanted to do, but about 30 minutes in I was out of ideas and had to start making it up as I went. When shooting projector photos, you need a super slow shutter speed, so I decided to play with that to get some interesting shots. Take a look:

I’m in love with so many of these images. Lisa’s classic beauty and the romantic projections really came together nicely. My favorites are the moon ones- she looks like a moon princess, I swear.

The background paper was a little funky, with all the lines. I tried pulling more down, but the lines where on the entire roll so I just said forget it. They look kind of cool, so I’m not really bent out of shape about it.

I’m hoping I come up with more creative ways to use the projector. I already have one idea for an upcoming still life assignment… I’m thinking about using it in rooms, having the projections bend over furniture and stuff. We shall see.

In other news, I got a fish! His name is Charlemagne, Emperor of the Bettas, but you can call him Charlie or Charles for short. So when you see pictures of a betta fish, you’ll know why because I love him and he’s the best fish ever.

Until next time… Happy shooting!