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Personality Pic

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Artist Statement:

In 2021, I was given the opportunity to take digitals for a modeling agency called Q Management. In the industry, the term "digitals" refers to a set of standard images of a model without elaborate poses, makeup, costume, or post production editing. Digitals at Q are taken with the intention to portray talent to their list of clients (including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gap, and Marc Jacobs), "how the model looks organically". 

I have to admit, taking digitals has been a shocking experience. In the past, my documentary portraiture has been motivated by a fascination with people, intended to creatively spotlight individuality. This was my first experience photographing people with specific instructions to obscure certain markers of individuality - to take a photo that presents blank-slate-potential. After interning on the other side of the administrative table, I'd be lying if I said that I thought talent were treated fairly for a multitude of reasons.

In my perspective, to avoid portraying individuality in photography is to introduce up a multitude of moral challenges. In the contemporary digital age, and thereby the era of flooding images, we must become increasingly aware of the tendency to standardize our subjects. In light of consumerism and the increasing accessibility of digital imagery, I believe we, as photographers, are responsible to do what we can to preserve humanness in our photography. I believe that the world of marketing will be changed for the better when it recognizes the difference between checking boxes and celebrating individuality. 

 

Every so often, some clients would request a "personality pic" in the digitals. During my time at Q, I took the concept and ran with it, creating double exposure images accompanied by a caption from conversations with each of the models. This is my attempt to reintegrate storytelling, representation, and creativity into the digital process. I want this project to inspire photographers to preserve the camera as a tool rather than a weapon by practicing engagement and representation in photography.

MARY OCEAN

Model from Saint Petersburg

"Can we bring Oliver? Do you mind if I dance?"

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ALEXANDRA VAN ZANDT

Multimedia Artist

"Last week I had bleached blonde hair and eyebrows. They told me not to go red, but alas, here we are."

MARIAN KURPANOV

Model and Actor

"I've have been doing this for 40 years - 

I know the game."

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ANYA LESUN

Model from Russia

"I don't think they will like the bow...but I like the bow. We will do both."

HUNTER PIFER

Model from Iowa

"People I date get insecure about their sexualities when they find out I'm trans. It's hilarious and obnoxious"

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ANGELA

Model and Actress from Wisconsin

"I'm on the apartment hunt right now so the headband is about as festive as I am getting today."

“Picture-taking is an event within itself, and one with ever more peremptory rights-- to infer with, to invade, or to ignore whatever is going on.” 

“Because they are an unlimited resource, one that cannot be exhausted by consumerist waste, there is all the more reason to apply the conversationalist remedy." 

On Photography, Susan Sontag

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