Contacts: 21st Century Portraits
With this project, I am interested in examining the people who surround my life in the early 21st century—a time of advancing technology, impending climate change, ongoing war, and many other complex social issues. This series of portraits attempts to capture and hold onto the people that I love in the face of an uncertain future. I want the images to stand alone as a portrait of not only their subject, but also of their time—complete with the issues that surround us in the early 21st century, much like German photographer August Sander’s work in the tumult following World War I. Furthermore, I hope to showcase the connection that forms and exists between people—photographer and subject, image and viewer.
The slow process of large format photography helps to build and reinforce the connections between photographer and subject—myself and my friends, family, and neighbors. I find this connection to be an essential part of my portrait photography. The analog nature of film photography also means that I am connected to the people throughout the entire process, whether it be in person, on film, or in print. The constant gaze of the subjects quickly draws the viewer in. Surrounding the viewer with these large works, I want them to actively engage, and be lured into feeling that they are a part of the group. I hope this feeling then translates into their own lives, and they feel connected to the people in the world around them. Along with reminding the viewers that they are intrinsically connected to the people around them, I aim to bring a sense of hope for the future.