I still need your help!! The project reached it's minimum goal Saturday night, but I and my actors still desperately need every little bit we can raise. Your donation in these last few hours is so tremendously needed and appreciated. Thank you!!
A fine art narrative photography project that follows young couples at the beginning of their relationships over a series of 20+ images, from dating to married with children, and is staged on location in the streets, apartments, markets, and cafes of New York City. The finished pictures will ultimately be submitted to photography competitions, sold in art galleries, and displayed in museums.
In the fine art tradition of Gregory Crewdson, Cindy Sherman, or Kelli Connell, we stage scenes like you would for a movie, with locations, sets, lights, actors, and costumes—but instead of using action and dialogue to tell the story, we get a single still frame; it's similar to the paintings you see in museums, like the narrative paintings of Edward Hopper or the 17th-century Dutch realists. The pictures rely on a telling prop, an expression, a small gesture by one of the characters to convey the story surrounding this frozen moment. Then the viewer gets to fill in the details, to elaborate upon what happened before we arrived and what might happen after we leave.
Last fall, I held auditions and cast a group of actors to play several young couples at the beginning of their relationships. We spent four months rehearsing together to create characters, pulling ideas from people the actors knew. Through long-form improv, we began to craft the first faint sketches of who these characters were and where their stories together might be headed. As part of this process, we took the characters out of the rehearsal space and into the real world to learn how they moved, what they sounded like, what the rhythms of their life were—not as a test run, but as a major part of the process. It resulted in spontaneous encounters—interacting with the checkout lady at the supermarket, the homeless guy on the street corner, the stranger looking for a record producer, or the pigeon who tried to steal a character’s salad in the park—and it taught us more about these characters than I think we would have learned otherwise. It was a joy to follow them and a privilege to witness these private moments. And now I want to start capturing these as still images to share with you.
I used to work on movie productions, so I know that staging something like this is complex, with lots of moving parts, and the costs start to add up quickly. So far, the actors and crew have been generously donating their time, but I need your help with the equipment and other physical needs of the production. The goal of $15,000 will cover the equipment part of this project: the cameras and the lights. That’s the minimum needed to make this project, but I’d like to set the sights higher: raising $25,000 would cover the additional costs of set dressing, costumes, locations fees, city permits, and transporting all of this stuff to and from set. I’m proud to say we have zero overhead at this point, so every dollar you give will show up in print in the finished image. And through some of the rewards for donating (listed in the sidebar), I’m looking forward to getting copies of those images into your hands.
A Cool Project to Give To
This project feels like the culmination of a long journey for me. It merges my interests in photography and filmmaking, telling stories and working with actors. And since I've spent the last several years overseeing locations on movies, I have a practical understanding of how to shoot on location and the skill to put together the required elements. This series also differs from other photographers working in this genre through the use of recurring characters appearing over multiple images and a long-term commitment to see the characters age over time. When you combine all of that with our improv-heavy approach to shooting, I think this project has something genuinely unique to offer viewers and will ultimately interest art dealers and museum curators—and that interest will grow, the longer we can shoot for.
Help me make that possible by donating. And check out some of the exclusive rewards on the right you can earn as a result. I appreciate your support in this so unbelievably much. I’ve never been more serious than when I say I could not do this without you. So thanks.
- (42 days)