This series, #streetportraits, is a collection of strangers I find visually interesting while out and about, shot on film because film is fun.
For this project, I first became curious about my own family’s story of migration. Unfortunately, this story had been lost, my relatives who migrated have passed on and my family knows very little of this story. Migration I was told, was a thing to be forgotten and assimilation was key to acceptance into this new country. Next, I asked my friends who recently migrated to Canada and many were reluctant to tell me their migration stories. For me this was perplexing, migration, leaving your home and moving to a new country, is a pivotal point in a person’s and a family’s history, and something I think should be remembered and shared.
1. two individuals of the same sort considered together. "a couple of girls were playing marbles"
synonyms: pair, duo, twosome, two;
2. two people who are married, engaged, or otherwise closely associated romantically or sexually.
synonyms: husband and wife, twosome, partners, lovers;
What is a couple? Why do two people form a union? This ongoing series is a visual exploration of couples I meet by chance on the street and who agree to be photographed. We make some small talk, I briefly explain the project, and ask them three questions:
1. Can I take a photograph of you both?
2. What are your first names?
3. How long have you been a couple or married?
I take two photographs, a couple, and use film so the subjects can not see the images immediately after. No posing is done besides having them stand in front of the camera, they can simply be themselves together.
For this series I am exploring the use of spontaneous unplanned portraits and looking at the dynamics of couples. Will the awkwardness of doing something quick and unexpected reveal something more about a subject? Can we really come to know anything more about these couples, or couples in general, from looking at the individual images? Or will examining the body of work as a whole reveal something about why we couple or why we don’t?
Black and white film is used as a metaphor for the dynamics of a couple, as film is not just made up of black and white but shade of grey. Just like things are not always black and white in a couple’s relationship, they are more often than not shades of grey, versions of the truth, rights and wrongs, and perspectives.
The choice of camera, a Mamiya C330 twin lens, is also intentional as it employs one lens to view and another lens to record the subject on film. I like this coupling as it speaks to the subjective and objective duality of photography. What can we trust about an image? What really can we glean from a photograph as they are split seconds plucked from reality and frozen in time. Do the images say more about the photographer, or does the viewer completely author their own meaning?
We all long to connect, to bridge a distance between others, one way we do this is to form relationships and one of the closest ones we can make is with a partner, a coupling. How much we give and take in that relationship is truly a reflection of who we are as people. A couple’s relationship is complicated and beautiful, thank you to all those who share a few split seconds of theirs with me.
“Underneath the camera.. it is so magnificently beautiful. It is upside down and backwards, true but have you seen through a view camera. You can just pay admission to see through a view camera it is so mysterious.” ~ Judith Joy Ross
Inspired by the work of Diane Arbus and Judith Joy Ross these images are portraits of strangers I meet in the park. These images are taken with a Deardorff 8x10 camera all shot on black and white film. I am interested in using the camera to connect with people.
The 8x10 Deardorff camera is a curiosity to most, it initiates conversation and helps allows two strangers to connect for a short time through photography. The use of space and a minimal depth of field is a used to isolate the subject and speaks to the distance I sometimes feel towards others.
Working on a long-term project, Expired. Using expired film this series explores spaces and places that are close to expiring or are very well worn. I am using a Graflex: Super Graphic 4x5 for the series, the last model of the expired large format Graflex camera line. This series is a look at the beauty and usefulness of the things we discard.