I found out via a mutual friend Abbe Aronson that photographer Franco Vogt needed to find 10 subjects to photograph for a Personal Project in Woodstock, I jumped at this chance! I love meeting photographers, and finding out what makes an artist tick. Vogt is a location-based portraiture photographer, but he wants to find more time for Personal Projects. Franco told me I could wear make up or not, and that the shoot would be short. Only my face would be photographed. He didn't want to give away his personal project until I met him at the shoot. The theme is: We are all the same. Hmmm.
I arrived at his shooting studio in his Woodstock home at 10 am last Friday. It was a pleasure to meet him and his wife Lucia, and we had a few good laughs during the shoot. I'm always a bit nervous in front of the camera, but he reminded me to breathe, and I think I did okay in the end. Vogt told me that the photographs of me and the 9 others are not meant to be glamorous. The photos will have the clinical neutral feel of a passport photo, and he will play with different fast moving images to reveal our similarities.
I sat facing the camera, and followed his instruction: "Close your eyes, look down, and now slowly smile. Ok, now. Pretend that you are screaming. Ok, now look really pissed off!" (This was the hardest look to pull off!) Then he shot about 5-10 minutes of video where he asked me to be very still and neutral and look into the camera. At the end, I asked him if I could take a peak at the photos he took of me. "Oh, well you can look, but you might not like it," he said.
I took a quick look at one of the photos on his laptop. I wish my passport photos looked this good! I loved the one he showed me although it was not glamorous at all, and I kind of have bed hair. Before I left he showed me a book of his 60/60 Personal Project where he shot 60 portraits of Woodstock area people in 60 days. (His wife Lucia coordinated the shoots, and told him where to go the day of the shoot to add to the spontaineity). Vogt only knew about a third of the people he photographed. I loved flipping through the book because the portraits are stunning, and I recognized 30 of people in there. It is like a Who's Who in Woodstock in Saugerties. It was a nice way to start off a Friday morning. I can't wait to see how this Personal Project manifests itself! You can check out his extensive commercial photography portfolio and his Personal Projects at FrancoVogt.com. Here's hoping the photos came out okay, and I get invited to more of these Personal Projects!