Yesterday, after my breakfast partner left me at the hotel restaurant to finish my coffee, I had a long and awkward moment with myself. The hotel's mirrored walls left me in an empty restaurant, staring at my remarkably egg-shaped head. Though it wasn't exactly fully conscious, I realized that I kept picking up my coffee cup and staring out the window, while trying to peek back and watch myself doing so. Here it was, that awkward moment my subjects feel when I'm doing an editorial job, only I was there as both photographer and subject, confused in both roles, trying to figure out what the other wanted, painfully self-aware the entire time.
This moment brings up one or two incomplete thoughts that I'd love to just throw out for discussion:
• band photography: is there a way to photograph a group of painfully self-aware 20 somethings in their hipster finest and not have it reek? Please, let's talk about band photography- show/share. My favorite band photo of all time is the inside jungle hippie photo from an old Three Dog Night album, but I can't find it online. I just remember it had a pregnant woman and a watermelon in it and, in a sense, is somewhat reminiscent of Justine Kurland's contemporary work.
• I recently came across something where a curator said that they did not want to see "disaffected young people staring into space." The phrase has stuck ever since… I think it's certainly one of those contemporary clichés, but again, one that I lean toward defending. By keeping the gesture ambiguous, don't we (photographers), create a sort of space for projection? I don't know, it's a hard line to tread. Maybe overused because it's so effective?
Hmm, we'll come back to this. Gotta run.