Week #31

Posted on March 29, 2012

Try and apply a technique or style that is widely associated with a specific photographic genre and use it in an unconventional way.
— Maja Daniels

Maja adds…
I came to think about the question in relation to my own practice. I have always enjoyed looking at different domains for inspiration and both fashion and sociology have taught me important lessons about how I want to approach my projects.

The fashion inspiration comes from the years I spent working with fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. A lot of Peters work has a vibe of reportage or street photography to it. He started doing this at a time when most fashion photography still happened in the studio and I found this daring crossover approach very inspiring. For example his series of models on the streets of new york. There is a gallery of these pictures on his website under : Exhibitions – “On street“.

People have commented on my series “Mady & Monette“, pointing out how it looks a bit like a fashion series and I find that interesting.

Since a great part of Mady and Monette’s lives is about performing, both in front of cameras or on a stage as well as on the street, I wanted to include images of them posing for me in the project. But, I wanted to mix these more staged images with pictures of them interacting naturally as they go about their daily business. This combination works for me and I particularly like the fact that its not always obvious to tell the two approaches apart. Also, when I first spotted the sisters, I wasn’t quite sure that they were real so this addition of fiction makes for a dreamy atmosphere, a bit like a mirage that reflects my initial impression of them.

Additionally, I am sure the fashion “link” is also due to the setting, the streets of Paris make the perfect backdrop for such ambiguity to be played out, confusing us with it’s references to fashion, film and art. It makes the documenting of everyday events somewhat surreal.

I like that the series can play with certain aesthetics that are not as clearly cut as, say, traditional documentary photography. However, the series remain deeply rooted in the story of the lives of Mady and Monette.

Maja Daniels  |  52 by 52 Group on Flickr

Small selection of submissions for #31: