By Cade Martin

Let’s try something new. A portrait of now.

I have been working on a series of tele-photoshoots where people can be virtually photographed from the safety of their own home. Anyone is welcome – individuals, families, couples or kids. No animals have shown up as of yet, but if Zoom meetings are any indication, I assume they will.

The approach – I simply photograph subjects through their own webcams, creating a portrait right from their living rooms, front porches, yard, etc. – without leaving my studio – to create a “together” but “distanced” photo session.

The outcome – I work with what I have. Some webcams are higher resolution than others, and I’m at the fickle mercy of available broadband connectivity. But it’s been an adventure of sorts to embrace the various qualities and imperfections to create something unique and memorable. Some images might be slightly abstract, blurry and/or slightly out of focus. It’s great in that every image changes from person to person and environment to environment so it is an exercise in finding beauty in the unfamiliar.

This pause has allowed me a lot of time to catch up on organizing as well as reflection. Case in point, I stumbled upon a self-portrait that I made in my second-ever basic photography class in college at VCU in Richmond, Virginia. It was a double exposure image that was created on one negative. For the technically curious, I photographed myself with a tripod, wound the film backwards, moved my position in the room and photographed myself again over the first image. No photo shop trickery. I wondered and doubted if I could do that now, if I could create such an image today, would I even know how to do it.

I think I did it. Though digital, these images are straight images and done all in camera – one frame with no Photoshop trickery.

Stop on by. Dress however you’d like, this is your portrait. Be yourself – these portraits are just for you, a memento of now.

Next sessions are Thursday and Friday, May 7 and 8. Remember, it is Mother’s Day this upcoming Sunday.  Check it out here:

You can check out Cade Martin series of profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic here.


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