My photo essay titled “My People” is a reflection of the people I care most about in their natural state. I did not tell any of them how to pose, or to pose at all. I wanted to convey their true essence and their true feeling, so I told them that I wanted to photograph them doing something they care about. I also wanted my people to tell their own stories, and to just let me photograph them with whatever their emotions might be at the moment, whether it be happy, silly, annoyed, bored or tired. These photos weren’t completely candid, but I told them that they had to be in a natural pose doing something they would be doing anyway, regardless if I had a camera photographing them. Interestingly enough, I got two very distinct different vibes coming from each of my locations. The first six photos were taken in my hometown, Romeo, MI, when I was visiting to try to take good photos. The overall emotion (besides my studying sister) is silliness and fun- which is exactly how it actually was. None of us had seen each other in a while, so we were excited to reunite and giggle like 12 year olds again. The following four photos were taken in Ann Arbor, which seems to have a more serious feeling. It likely has something to do with the fact that it is finals season. However, I think this photo essay does a good job at showing the distinction of my two worlds, while at the same time, bringing them together.
I tried really hard to incorporate the rule of thirds in any photo with a horizon, which I think I have successfully done, except in the photo of the girl eating cereal. I loved her expression and emotion too much to throw out the photo only because the horizon wasn’t necessarily in the perfect spot. At the same time, I like how this splits in the image equally in half similar to the last image. I think it gives two perspectives on their lives.
The following are individual explanations of each photo, and how they represent the natural emotions of my people:
In the first photo, they (my brother, his friend, and my bet friend) did a silly pose, which I think is a good reflection of their goofiness. The second photo of Randi was, clearly, unwanted. I decided to keep it though because she always attempts to hide her face, so I felt that this was such a typical Randi pose. In the third photo, my brothers’ friend, Shawn, stole my sunglasses and asked me to photograph him. The fourth photo is of Kevin during a trip to the Arb. The fifth is my grandma and brother hanging out in the living room, as they always do on the weekend. The sixth is my sister studying, which as a medical student, is what she always does when she visits home. These previous six photos were taken in my home town, Romeo, Michigan, when I visited home for a weekend. The seventh through tenth photo were taken in Ann Arbor. The seventh is of my friends, Benj and Sarah, doing Karaoke at Circus bar. They love singing karaoke, and this photo captured it in an interesting way. The eighth photo of my friend Nick Walker-Craig is of him sitting in front of a blanket over the “UGli” sign with “Express your Debt” written on it. Nick helped put on this event because he is a part of UM student union. The ninth photo captures my housemate, Carisa, in her morning crankiness as I captured her eating breakfast. Finally, the last photo of my roommate, Zyz, shows her reading before going to bed, with the door to my housemate’s bedroom open.
Overall, the key to understanding my photo essay is knowing that I wanted to capture the raw emotion of all the great people in my life. While these emotions were not all necessarily happy and silly, the photos still share a real story that is uniquely, and emotionally theirs.