083 – kelle

another entry in the extended interactions series that i’ve been shooting when the time / circumstances allow.

kelle and i met on the train a couple weeks ago, and went to talk over coffee about the photo project i’m working on.  she was intriqued and agreed to meet up today.

- the cat’s name is olio
- kelle’s mother made the quilts on her bed and the one in the last shot – her mother owns a quilting store in arizona where kelle grew up – her father owns a desert 4×4 offroad truck customization shop
- kelle says that her freckles are one of her favorite traits – she says they’re the reason she doesn’t have any tattoos
- the plant on the rail was a gift from a friend. she brought it from arizona with her when she moved to the bay
- the wicker box: kelle’s sex toys – only past boyfriends knew about it before our shoot today
- the knife and cutting board: kelle’s favorite items.  she works as a cooking instructor
- the geode on the shelf as a bookend: when kelle was a child she would go on hikes with her grandfather – he found and collected rocks, gems and geodes – this is one he found
- the cuts on kelle’s wrist: inflicted by olio while we were shooting… i kept my distance from him

Charlie Apr 2nd, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I’m impressed how you make everyone feel so comfortable that you capture a real intimacy. I know we talked about it over coffee but I’m also impressed that Megan is cool with it. My wife would totally not be, I suspect.

smyth Apr 3rd, 2013 at 10:38 am

yeah, i’m pretty lucky that megan is so cool with it. the thing is (at least from my point of view): photography is, at its core illusion, and fantasy. when i do these shoots the intimacy is there in the room, but in reality i am not a part of that intimacy – i’m observing that intimate moment. the idea is to allow the viewer to feel like they’re part of the intimate moment, to place themselves in that moment with the subject… warm, cozy, relaxed on a sunday morning – the day at your dissposal. i think the shoots are succesful if, in the end when someone looks at the photos they feel an intimate connection to the subject – as if they have shared something with them. the odd part is that i don’t ever get to be a part of that intimacy because i’m just observing and then currating the experience. i enjoy these because this way of creating the illusion of an intimate connection between viewer and the original subject is so starckly contrasting to the rest of my photography which generally strives to do the opposite… to place the viewer in a place where they can imagine being alone, wandering, searching for a connection, maybe cold and a little desperate. maybe that all makes sense.. ?

Charlie Apr 3rd, 2013 at 11:47 am

That’s true. It all depends on the set of eyes that are looking. The real situation, (ie, what it’s like in the room, what conversation is happening, whoever else is there) is unseen in the photo. We are just getting a small window into the scene. Also the sequence has it’s own interpretive effects on the viewer. There is something inherently sexy and romantic about these extended interactions. I tend to imagine myself in the same situation and what Jenny might think about that. But I guess I forget about the obvious restrictive and limiting effect of that thought, if I really have an interest in pursuing my photography. I would need an understanding from my wife if I were interested in doing the same thing. Documenting life is an intimate thing. No ifs, ands or buts. You are invited into a personal space and they are revealing a bit of themselves to you. It’s all very exciting and I love experiencing the result here. Keep up the good work sir!

Oh and I also love your “alone” stuff. You have an great eye and a quality. I’m always equating the quality it to an analog thing but truthfully your mostly working in digital. But you capture a muted analog quality that has natural beauty. No excessive makeup here. All natural.

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