Robin Michals | COMD 1340 Photography 1

Final Project Statement

I am intrigued by the emotional roller coaster individuals embody through life changing experiences. This idea presented itself to me as I’m in my own journey to detect my emotions so I may articulate them to another person or for my personal growth. I plan to capture these intimate moments with different close people in my life. I will ignite a conversation and ask them to express themselves. During these conversations, I may ask the subject if I could start taking pictures. I will also ask them to take their portraits beofre and after the conversation is done. I hope to translate these emotions through photographs. To do so, I will experiment with lighting and angles to try to mimic the mood if necessary. I may ask the subject to be seated in a designated area or we may be in a busy street. I want them to feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera.

I am looking for raw emotions. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be dark, on the contrary when going through difficult times or any life altering decisions whether we made them ourselves or life has done it for us, the outcome may be alleviating. We as humans may look back at them and smile, laugh, feel a sense of relief, calmness and gratitude after it has all been said and done.

I’ve been inspired by the photographer Brandon Stanton who has been taking photos of people in the streets of New York City for years. He has shared long captions to accompany the emotions we are seeing. Each person tells a personal story.

I’ve always loved candid photos but during this project I hope to make it more intentional. This may feel more like a therapy session than a portrait being taken. But that is what I enjoy, having conversations that stay with me. It doesn’t have to have some form of a great epiphany but it’s what I long for.

1 Comment

  1. rmichals

    I don’t think there is anything intimate about Humans of New York. I think Stanton’s agenda was to show range and diversity but not really emotion.

    Look at @dont_smile_nyc. Amy Horowitz is cataloging people’s self-expression but not really their emotions. More like identities.

    One thing you are planning that is different than either of these other photographers is you are going to work with people you know. They both work with strangers. You will need 10 people. Try for at least three the first week. Try outdoors if you can or work near a window indoors.

    One this about Horowitz’s work is it is shot outside in Washington Square park.You won’t have problems with light if you work outside. 4 of your examples are shot outside and all do a good job of not letting the background become distracting.

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