Dirty Laundry #6: Photo Process

This photo set was kind of rushed- first I was feeling way too behind from not posting for nearly a month, secondly the idea was still gelling during the day, long after I’d left my house with a variety of bits and pieces of costume and props. Then we were racing the setting sun while shooting. I met S at 5 at her dorm and we quickly completed the outfit and then raced out the door stopping only to buy chalk along the way.

I’d kept pretty strictly to alternating boy/girl for the pictures but I’ve been finding it harder to come up with boys, I’d asked S if she would “model” for me, and while I’d first seen her in a wedding dress (child bride) on the end of a pier when I realized no boys were going to present themselves this week I decided to put her in a mustache.

I knew I wanted a mustache and top hat (I couldnt’ find my top hat but while looking for it I did find the bowler or whatever that hat is) and I was debating heels but in the end she had those gorgeous white ones so I went with those. For the story behind it I started thinking she might have a sign or billboard and then I thought of chalk and a box on the street- like magic. She could be performing magic. Would she think it’s real? Would other’s think it’s real? S is in her first year of college (uni) and caught at certain angles she looks quite young still and I wanted to harness this to give add to the ides of the intersection of magic/imagination/perception- both within us and perceived from the outside. In the end we found a wall that seemed perfect for drawing a door. In the end I didn’t use any of the door pictures so all this might be lost completely on the viewer.

Some of the door pictures (like this one) weren’t quite in focus- the hazard of shooting wide open in the dying light. And the ones that were or that I liked didn’t feel quite right when I went through the process of mixing and matching the pictures.

I have mixed feelings about it being less elaborate in terms of design. I think that it’s mainly a function of how much time I have to put toward a shoot- the more time available to think about it, to organize people and props and to shoot that more room there is the develop a highly dynamic idea. Also, I think that working alone creates a certain amount of serious limitations- there’s no one to hold a bboard for me or move around props or even watch my bag in a busy city park. On some level, working alone has been an essential part of this project/process but as I move from observational photography to design oriented photography I may have to consider bringing on a partner/assistant.

see photographs and stories at cargocollective.com/dirtylaundry