To any and all who read these...I had an idea for a project a while back, and I've been developing it into something that I think will ultimately turn out pretty cool. In the end, this is going to be a massive project that will encompass elements of drawing, photography, imagination, emotion, spontaneity, and cross-cultural psychology.
In order to make this work, I'll need a lot of volunteers from a lot of different countries. The further away you are from the Western United States, the better. The different your culture is from the Western United States, the better. Essentially, the more diversity I can incorporate into this project, the better it will turn out.
You'll need a digital camera, or some kind of camera that doesn't really look like a camera. SLRs, for example, are big, bulky, easily noticed, and instantly recognizable. Digital cameras built into portable phones (mobiles, cell phones, whatever you call them) are less likely to be recognized as cameras. Little point and shoot cameras would be ideal, since they're inconspicuous and unobtrusive, but will still be recognized as a camera once they're noticed.
Every portrait I've ever drawn has been a mild exaggeration of how I think someone is feeling in frozen moments of time. What I'd like to do is draw a series of portraits capturing moments of how people in different cultures react to seeing a camera. I want as many photo references from as many cultures as possible. Really, I want to create something of a celebration of the wonderful diversity of our planet, which is what I think creates real beauty.
If you're still with me, let me spell out what I need volunteers to do...
Start talking to people you know, have just met, or anywhere in-between. Have your camera on and ready, but don't make it obvious. During your conversation, ask the person for permission to take their picture. Once they agree (very important...I want to be respectful of everyone whose pictures get taken), then reveal the camera and take a picture as quickly as possible, preferably after they've noticed the camera, but before they've had a chance to pose for it.
Ideally, the conversation would go like this -
You: Do you mind if I take you picture?
[point camera at person]: click
You: Thank you!
If they're still OK with the picture
Then just email me the picture. No Photoshop, no corrections, just the image as it was taken. Plus a brief description of the person who's in the picture...I'll have really short forms that will make that easier.
Anyway, if this is something you're willing to help me do, please send me a comment, email, or note. Just let me know. I don't have a limit to the number of pictures I'll use or the number of volunteers who want to participate. At a minimum, I'm thinking neighborhood of 50, but hopefully more. All I want is range. The more countries and cultures I can get, the better this will turn out. I'd like to cover the whole world.
Also, if you happen to know someone who's in another country that could help, please pass this on. You don't need to be a photographer...in fact, it would probably be better if you're not. Just as long as the person's whole face is visible and it's in focus, I can use it.
If you're reading this, I'm extremely flattered you read the whole way down!
Cheers. Namaste. Thank you. Danke. Gracias. Shukran. Merci. Dankie. Hvala. Diolch yn fawr. Cảm ơn bạn. Salamat. Grazie. Спасибо. Asante. Děkuju. Dankon.
谢谢。 ありがとう。 நன்றி. 감사합니다.