These images were “round 2” with Portland model Maryjane McLain, which is to say, the second time I got to work with her in the last 6 months or so. We had access to a dive-y bar which all kinds of psycho stuff written on the walls, and it was a complete blast to shoot amongst the bar patrons and in the creepy, ratty basement. I have been a recent admirer of the South African rave-rap group Die Antwoord who have a similar rat-like vibe thanks to their frequent collaborations with photographer Roger Ballen; it’s not quite the same as shooting with a stylish Maryjane but you can see where some of the influence comes from.
Every photographer who works creates series has series concepts that simply don’t pan out. By “series”, I mean a set of photographs that visually make a greater statement when combined than they do individually. The easiest kind of series is to pick a thing and photograph that thing in different ways or scenarios. Then there are series that tell the story of a subject/ concept in the way documentary photographers do.
With the ground rules in place- there are a lot of reasons why a series doesn’t come together.
The photographer lost interest.
The work was never edited properly into a series. Currently I have a ton of nature images that don’t add up to anything.
The work involved collaborators who weren’t available to complete everything. In the case of a series of bodypainted images, the bodypainter became unavailable after we got ½ through the proposed series of Goddess images.
The work involved equipment that failed, was sold etc. I had some fun doing lomography work but gave away the camera in a contest before I ever got a series out of it.
The series didn’t show depth or variety.
And sometimes those series just take a long, long, long time to put together.
Lately I’ve been trying to sort out my lingering series and turn them into something that could be a gallery show, a folio, a book, a print set, whatever.
I still haven’t found a way to recover some of the false starts to series, but they are always interesting to revisit and try to figure out where it went wrong and what went right- we learn more from our failures than our successes.