Friday, December 14, 2012

Philadelphia Street Style: Donna, Walnut St

Donna has pieced together the items in this outfit from various vintage stores, but mainly Philly's own Greene Street Consignment. I'm liking the mix of patterns and colors here and the funky stripes on her coat. She gets a lot of compliments on the coat, she says.

In related news, I did an interview via Skype with Alkistis Tsitouri of the LA-based blog Streetgeist a few days ago. You'll hopefully see the results here in the next week. After the interview, I was inspired to try my hand at her brand of "straight up" street style pics in the grand tradition of Hel Looks or i-D and The Face, where the subject, perfectly centered in the frame, holds their arms flatly at their side, keeps a blank expression on their face, and stares straight at the camera. It's a classic, documentary mode of photography. The subject is photographed almost as a specimen, as if their clothes were being documented and archived for the sake of future generations. It's meant to be a naturalistic mode of representation, no frills, no tricks. But when I tried the method while out shooting the other day, I found that it's actually rather difficult to get people to pose that way. All three people I photographed resisted my efforts. No one wanted to hold their arms at their side. No one could help smiling, at least part of the time. It's funny how unnatural such "natural" forms of documentation turn out to be. In the end, I let my subjects just do what they wanted to do. That's been my method from the beginning: give them very little direction and see what they do with it. 

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