Some of the photos may not look like it at first, but all of them were taken just a few minutes before a huge rainstorm last year. I had been taking pictures to document how the changing of seasons looks in Iowa City (ironically enough,) for a multimedia project.
The syllabus dictated that for this particular assignment, I had to ‘document’ an ‘event’. I quote those words because like so many things in the artistic world, the terms were open for interpretation. Not wanting to stray too far from the box, I chose a pretty straightforward plan- photograph a poetry reading in downtown Iowa City, at a local pizza place not far from my apartment. (It probably doesn’t look much like a pizza place at first glance, but that’s only because we reserved the top floor- a run down, rickety, poorly lit area for purposes such as ours. Lucky us.) Upon arriving, the area was pretty tight, but the energy of the people was surprisingly boisterous, and no one seemed to mind. Taking my cue from the crowd, I wandered around the small space and aimed to fully (and artistically, of course), ‘document’ the event. Here’s what I came up with-
This staged project was definitely one of the most fun assignments I have had, but also one of the most challenging. The subjects (aka, Stephanie and Josh) were more than happy to help me at first, but things seemed to change once I started shooting. Call it being “camera shy”, but it was a struggle for them to keep straight faces and to seem/act natural while I was taking pictures. This is understandable, as most people I know would feel a little uncomfortable being directed to sit and stand and pose in the entrance to a major University building (passersby seemed appropriately weirded-out as well). Those complications aside, I was very happy with the final product of the shoot. I liked the overall angles, framing, and dramatic elements in each of the pictures, which is what the project was primarily about. Just don’t focus too much on the facial expressions. 🙂