“Hi, I’m Jeremy. Can I take a picture of you for my project?”
This line is more than an introduction, it’s the gateway for my photography project,
@TODAYiPHOTOGRAPHED where I take a portrait of a person everyday. I recently stopped doing this project daily after 614 days, but continue to work on this project, just not daily.
Through this project, I build a bridge between me and another person—maybe that person is a stranger I see in the park, someone I meet on the street, or a friend I haven’t seen in awhile. I capture snippets of their lives—a photo and a few lines that come together to tell the story of our brief interaction. (Artist Statement continued at bottom of page)
I caught the story bug from my mom, a professional storyteller. She teaches people how to develop their story to inspire trust and she taught me how to encourage people to open up. The secret is to share something about yourself first. If I trust someone with my story, hopefully they will trust me with theirs. Through these brief interactions, I’m able to present the people I meet more authentically in the photograph.
Before I started this project, I assumed people would be too busy to be bothered by a guy with a camera. It turns out that most people I approach actually appreciate the attention. I think people want to be seen, or, more importantly, to know that they’re being seen. I used to pass by so many strangers and think, “I wish I could photograph them.” But I didn’t have the guts or reason to do it. Today I Photographed gives me the incentive to approach people, to prevent these missed connections. Now, I’m able to turn a passerby into a portrait.
I’ve been a working photographer for three years since I graduated with a BFA in photography from SVA. This is the first time I feel like my work is making a difference in other people’s lives. I have an opportunity to make someone feel beautiful, unique, and worthy of a good photograph. Several people I’ve approached have told me they’ve never had a professional portrait taken before. I feel lucky to have the privilege of being able to capture them for their first time.
It has been gratifying to create work that's bigger than myself; to share a blip of an interaction and say, hey, look, here’s another human, just like you and me, but different in their own quirky way. -JC