Thursday, September 27, 2012

Philadelphia Street Style: Kelsey, Walnut St

Some of you may remember that I shot Kelsey before, in an alley back in June right next to a phone booth. A different look. A different moment in time. I have, up until now, attempted not to shoot the same person twice. It was a noble ideal, capturing the breadth and variety of Philadelphia style and all. And at least one or two of the bloggers I've interviewed have told me that's important to them. There's only one problem with that. I see the same people all of the time, and if someone stood out in a crowd before, they're likely to do so again the next time I see them. I once asked Big Rube Harley if he ever worried about running out of people to shoot in Philly. He gave me a definitive "no." But I realized today, trolling the area between South St and 3rd and Walnut and 17th, that if I were to stick with the "one person, one shoot" rule, I most likely would. The truth is, I go for a certain kind of person. The looks vary. The mood changes. But there is a certain something that stays the same. I choose people based on some sort of ineffable quality they exert, an attitude they portray. As time goes on I can recognize it from further and further away. Sometimes I can ever hear it in their footsteps before I see them. It's a kind of stance, a kind of way of moving through the world. There aren't that many people that have it — maybe one in three hundred — and the people who do leave a visible mark on the city. They lend it its look. They provide it with an aesthetic. It makes sense to me to focus on those few exceptional people as the subject of my blog. It doesn't feel, in fact, that I have much of a choice. 

So today I realized a couple of things. 1) The one person, one shoot rule is totally arbitrary, and it makes little sense to stick to it. And 2)taking pictures of the same, key individuals over time provides a kind of visual history of a place. Certain people make their visual presence known more than others, and it just makes sense to focus my attention on them for this blog. You don't need to photograph an entire city to watch its aesthetic change. And as for Kelsey's look specifically, I think it's grown in some interesting ways since I last saw it, a bit more refined, a bit more sophisticated, and yet still distinctly recognizable as Kelsey.


  1. I think it's pretty neat that she's wearing the same boots as in the first photo. I like seeing the progression mapped out from person to person too.

  2. I hadn't noticed that, Chaucee! Good observation.

  3. It's so interesting to follow your observations about the blogging process, and watch you work through your ideas and principles. This is one of my favorite blogs precisely for that reason.

  4. Love this girl! I agree, her style has evolved a bit.


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