The Skype Photos
First, a little backstory:
In my personal work I am really interested in the relationship between the photographer and the model and the symbiotic voyeur/exhibitionist partnership that exists between them/us. Much of the commercial work I do is in the fashion world which has a definite influence on the way I craft my personal work, and vice versa. I’ve always believed that “fashion” was a polite way of saying “fetish,” anyway.
I moved to Los Angeles about six months ago from Memphis where I’d lived my entire life. Back home I’d fostered many creative relationships with like-minded models and it was daunting to try and rebuild these relationships in Los Angeles, while at the same time chomping at the bit to keep creating in the same vein as before. On top of that, I was feeling this tremendous loneliness in Los Angeles, which should have been expected, but took me by surprise. I contacted one of my favorite models shortly after I’d moved and came up with the idea of shooting her over Skype as a way of keeping in touch and to feel like I was still connected to that creative world. The images we created are grainy, dirty, gritty, and push the boundaries of the medium of digital photography. By photographing my computer screen with a professional grade camera, I’ve achieved a high resolution photo of low resolution image, resulting in beautiful texture, a “thickness’ to the image, and a palpable tension in the photos. Ultimately, these images speak to the themes I have been exploring in my work for a while, but they focus heavily on the voyeur aspect and bring into question the image itself, as there is a softness and element of distortion to them because of the web connection.
This series was a really interesting experiment in many ways, not the least of which was giving up control of almost everything. I could ask the model to move the webcam, or sometimes the entire computer, but there was little I could do to control the lighting, not to mention being unable to move or reorient myself. And there is ZERO sharpness. Pitching the idea was a little awkward at first but everyone more or less jumped on board with a little more explanation. A special thanks to Lauren for being the first and really giving this idea some legs.
Click on any of the photos to be taken to the full set on my website.
The Skype Series is ongoing! If you are interested in modeling for this project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(You can also send me your thoughts, criticisms, hate mail, love poems, and favorite sushi restaurant as well.)