Challenge #1: “Life in our moment”: Take approximately 4-6 photos of different hours of the day, 8am – 11am – 1pm – 5pm – 11pm, so we can see the progression of time as we are living it. It doesn’t need to be on the same day but a ‘day’ is what is to be perceived.
As I brainstormed for this project, I tried to think about what most of my days involve. I realized fairly quickly that my life essentially revolves around food. Most of my social interactions as well as my time spent relaxing are at meals. The preparation and the settings in which I enjoy my meals are all a huge part of my life. One of my goals was to avoid looking too food-bloggy, and I hope that I achieved that by giving some clues about my mood, the settings, and the people surrounding me – I just hope it doesn’t make you too hungry!
Critiques: At the end of every artist’s piece, we will be posting the critiques that other members of The Photograph Collective have written in response. These critiques are meant to encourage, challenge, and ultimately better each other as photographers. In the same fashion, we also invite our readers to share their thoughts of projects in the comments section below.
Stephen: Each photograph depicted not only the great food; but working and social aspects blended behind, which I found really demonstrated a day in your life – loved it! I would have loved to see some preparation before to show some of your passion that you put into your food and photography! Favourite shot – ‘Late Night Snack’
Mary: My favorite photo from your series is the first one. In your statement, you said you realized how your whole days ends up revolving around food…I’d love to see more of your life. I’d still like to see the food involved, but also what else is going on. I think the first image of breakfast is doing that effectively—waking up, checking email, leisurely checking some news articles, etc. I feel like that photo feels like it is about a part of your day. A lot of the other photos feel mostly about the food.
The photo of grilling out the burgers is halfway there. I think you could have just included the half of your friend/family member grilling out. It involves food, and we can guess that it’s probably a burger or something of that nature, but it focuses on the social aspect of the situation.
What are the different parts of your day that you find food involved in? Relaxation, socializing, work, etc…how can you show the activity, either literally showing it or implying it, while also showing the food? Perhaps for a dinner out with friends, you could photograph the wreckage of a table post-dinner that shows that there were several people eating together, implying the socializing or community aspect of the meal. Or perhaps the bowl of popcorn (or some stray pieces) next to strewn about remote controls?
Mixing the food into the photograph, rather than focusing on it, might help communicate the idea of your life revolving *around* food, instead of your life *being* food.
Jacquelyn: Besides making me hungry, your photographs were amazing aperitifs into your daily life. I absolutely loved your collection of photographs depicting each meal and how you ate them. Not only was I impressed by your culinary expertise, but I also liked the placement and focus on each object / meal. My two favorite images from your set were the first (breakfast) and last (popcorn). To me, these two photos told an authentic story of a day in your life. While each photo focused on the meal itself, the background set the scene for how you live each day and your hobbies.
Something that I thought worked very well was the popcorn’s off-centered placement. While most of the other subjects were placed in the center of their frames, the popcorn’s placement was a bit abstract and was a nice change from the other photos’ layouts. I suggest trying this composition more often, as I think it could give your photos a really unique perspective!
Jessica: One word: NOM.
I loved the dessert photo the best because it was colorful and interesting. I wished that the lunch picture didn’t have to be picstitched because it breaks the unity of the others. Okay, I need to stop staring at your pictures now because they are making me hungry:)
Christine: I have to say, your project definitely made me hungry! My absolute favorite shot is of breakfast with your computer. I think it provides a real look into your life – a great combination of food and lifestyle and really achieves the objectives of your project. I think the diptych was the least successful shot because of the shift in scale between the size of the burger vs. the size of the person. I think the burger alone would have been enough and probably didn’t require the second photograph.
Technically, I think the color balance was a little off, and would be super easy to correct to help further set the mood of the scenes. Conceptually, I also love the popcorn shot. You really get the scene and the colors are rich and its a totally relatable scenario.
In terms of what you wrote in your artist statement – I’d love to see more of the prep and mess! I don’t think your work looked food bloggy at all, and you could show more without endangering the finished product. I would also think about how to further incorporate your mood, the settings and the people around you, as you mentioned them but the focus seemed really on the (delicious-looking) food. Maybe someone could be at the end of the table on the spaghetti photo. I think the implication of other people was really successful in the chocolate cake photo with the four forks.
Overall: NOM. There’s a movie out right now called Chef, thats not only grade-A food porn but has a lot to do with food and peoples relationships (think Julie and Julia with a food truck). You might like it :)