Our second project in Photography 1 this Spring was to shoot people. There were 4 categories: Shoot Each Other, Directorial, Figure, and Candid. This post is about Shoot Each Other–one of the best photographic experiences I’ve ever had.
First we pulled partners out of a hat. Casey picked me, so I took pictures of her and she of me. But before we started shooting we were given a unique assignment: stare at the person for thirty minutes in silence. No talking or laughing. Make eye contact. After staring at a person for thirty minutes there will be no boundaries. It is this part of the assignment that made Shoot Each Other particularly valuable.
There’s a sort of connection you feel with the person after making eye contact with them for thirty minutes. My professor was right–there were no hesitations that I feel so often when shooting people, particularly people I don’t know. I wasn’t afraid to ask her to sit here, put your hair like this, what about if you do this, and I wasn’t afraid to get close.
This erasure of boundaries allowed me to capture some photos I am truly proud of. I really recommend this exercise for any photographer–it is quite the learning experience!!