Photography for the Ant Farm project is now complete!
When I kicked off this project in the Fall of 2011, I first spent several weeks working out the logistics of just how I would do the photos. I needed to construct a set that I could quickly switch between horizontal and vertical orientations without having to alter my light setup, with the goal of being able to get 100 consistent images in a somewhat assembly line process. Test shots that I did with my first setup revealed some fundamental flaws that I had to address by essentially tearing everything apart and starting over.
By late October I was ready to begin and I had decide just how to solicit participants. Since I had done two large-scale projects before, I obviously had a mailing list with more than enough names of ready and willing people, but I wanted to mix things up a bit. I didn’t want to go so far as to not use any of the people from the earlier projects, but I did think it would be fun to tap into some other talent pools.
This time around I decided to let word of mouth (or word of Facebook) do most of the work for me. I made an intial post about the project which attracted the first few people. I then asked them to tell their friends about it, just to see what would happen. Well, what happened was that I ended up doing very little promoting of the project and the vast majority of people came in through recommendations from their friends. It became very common for emails to arrive that started with “I heard about the project through my friend and I’d love to be a part of it, too!”
And with that, I was off and running.
Since I’m a project manager by trade, I’m always collecting data, and the data I collected for this project is rather interesting (at least to me, that is):
- Total number of participants: 100
- Women: 67; men: 33. This is very interesting, because my past projects were much more gender-balanced. Why this one was so skewed, I have no idea.
- People who had been in Self-Censored Portraits: 21; people who had been in Common Thread: 22; people who had been in both: 12. That means 69 had never been in any of my projects!
- People I had never met before: 52
- People who told me that they had never posed nude before: a lot (sorry, didn’t keep an accurate count).
- Youngest: 21; oldest: 62
- Most common age: late 30s (actually, this is just a guess)
What’s next? Now it’s all about fine-tuning the images to prepare it for printing. I still have a bit of time so I can take this part nice and slow.