Photo Essay

Emotion Capture


Photo #1: Allison, immediately before and immediately after reading out a monologue from Lynn Nottage's play, 'Ruined.' 'Ruined' is a Brecht-style play about the violence and sexual abuse against women in the Congo and Uganda. The monologue is the climactic scene in which the main character tells the story of how she was kidnapped and raped by soldiers that were supposedly fighting for the freedom of her people.

Photo #2 Ross. My friend Ross has lived a harder life than most people I know. His family has been through a lot, and although Ross seems like a tough, delinquent sort, he's really a very nice guy.

Photo #3 Ross, again. His older brother died in a car crash in 2006 at the age of 18. They were both good friends of mine. This photo was taken shortly after Ross's brother was mentioned in our conversation.

Photo #4 Kat and I were talking about different shots from National Geographic that we liked just before this photo. Her faraway look makes me wonder what she was thinking about.

Photo #5 This shot of Tyler was actually a test shot. I was shooting his portrait for an article I was doing on coming out stories. His story is not the happiest one, and so he was clearing his head in order to get a happier shot for the article.

Photo #6 I thought this photo was very expressive. Devon and I were having some debate about politics, then our friend Layna tried to cut in while I tried to interrupt. Devon held up her hands for silence from both of us, and I caught the shot.

Photo #7 Alex is a very emotionally open person. He's extremely affected by many things, but he releases it in the form of some excellent poetry. We taught a poetry class together a few years ago at the performing arts camp we work at, called Ucamps. Teaching emotional poetry for performance is difficult. When he sat down on the railing of the stage to decompress after class was done, I snapped a picture.

Photo #8 I do not know this girls name. This shot was taken at the same performing arts camp. She was deciding whether or not she wanted to stay in this class or try one that sounded better. She ended up staying.

Photo #9 Malika. I can't remember much about this shot, except that it was a bunch of people sitting in a circle telling incredibly horrible jokes that were funny because they were so bad.

Photo #10 These are two students of the performing arts camp. We have a candlelight ceremony on the last night of camp, where students and staff get up and thank whomever they want to, or they can tell a little story about something that happened. Many of the students explain how Ucamps changed their life. By the end of the ceremony, most of the students are usually crying because they will miss everyone.

Photo #11 My choir went on a trip to New York. We sang the National Anthem in front of Ground Zero, and then we went and visited the WTC Tribute Memorial Center. Eliza was reading the wall of letters full of sympathy and love and support.

I put these photographs together, because I think they show the most interesting and varied emotions from all of my shots. The photos of Ross and the photo of Allison have more information if you click on the photo, if you'd like to know more about him or the inspiration for the monologue photo.

1 response

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (6 Mar 2011):

    Heck yeah this is a great idea and execution, wish I could vote!

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