Friday, August 27, 2010

Photography Made Easy or Crime Against Humanity?

Photographers Shaun Fenn and Jonas Olsson knocked on my door yesterday, it was 4:00 pm. Shaun had a taxidermiz-ed goose he got for a photo shoot, but the subject refused to pose with it.

He hands it to me:

SF:You've got to photograph Eli with this goose.
TA: Why? He doesn't hunt or anything. It wouldn't make sense.
SF: Just because it'd make a great photograph. Don't overthink it.
m I am having just completed a book where I really collaborated with my son with these very intentional concepts, these very curious and purposefull scenarios that we made up together. this quick moment, this fellow photographer is stopping by and asking me to act...not think....and just move forward. Make the shot. Don't worry. Don't overthink it. Just try. It's seductive and fun...I just move forward.
Eli is there. I ask him to take his shirt off to pose for the photograph. He asks for a dollar modeling fee. I agree. Shaun coaches him on how to hold the goose. I pull out a black duvee. Shaun holds one side, Jonas holds the other. We bang it out. 10 minutes max, we are done.

What did we get? doesn't really look like ECHOLILIA. It looks like the work of Shaun Fenn, Andy Anderson, some of the other heartfelt photographers working in this very American Breed tradition. It is beautiful. I show it to my wife, Cheri:
CS: That's just used him as a prop. It just looks like what people think a striking photograph is supposed to look like. It's a copy of a copy.
TA: I know...but I kinda think most people won't know the difference.


Rebecca Horne said...

I think the second image here is actually a good photo. But I think it might strike me differently in another context. But here it is.

Darrell Eager said...

Actually I think it's a selfportrait of you holding Eli....

bird. said...

What Darrell said. Yeh.


bird. said...

and by the way, tell Eli to up his modeling fee. I think he underbid the job.


Sirfenn said...

Kind of a "snarky" undertone T, what up? "Crimes against Humanity" ... What human ... Where?

Fun with Eli, beautiful images.

Timothy Archibald said...

Hi Shaun-
Ahh...I feared you would take this with a bit of snarkyness, and for that I apologize. It was intended to be a positive view on the differences in creative approaches, and how different pathes often lead to beautiful images.
For me, the crime was that I essentially created a photograph, with my son, that really wasn't my photograph at all: it looked beautiful and striking, it had my kid in it, but in the end it didn't represent my values and concerns. In terms of the creative process, it was a shortcut, an appropriation, a situation where someone came over, gave me the pieces, and allowed me to assemble the puzzle. The end result may have been striking, but it wasn't really mine.

Bryan Regan said...

I found it positive, and a beautiful image. I think everyone has a "creative process" but when we're pushed or pulled out of our comfort zone the results can be magical.