This past semester I was lucky enough to study under Adrienne Salinger. She was an incredible professor, photographer, and mentor. She really pushed us to try different things, take leaps, take risks, and be better at what we do. She tried to get us to understand that our school world, and our social world, could be one in the same. Most of all, she knew crap when she saw crap. I adore her.
At first, when I was proposing ideas for my final project, I had really elaborate ideas about what I wanted to do. I wanted to take photos of individuals in their rooms with nothing on but underwear, with spot lights on them, trying to make them feel uncomfortable. Crap. I wanted to photograph woman from behind, exposing just their backs and necks. This was a look at Japanese culture, and how traditionally the back was seen as the most revealing and sexual part of a woman. Already been done. Crap. I was stuck. What could I possibly do? What was there out there? Everything has, "already been done"...right? She told me to find something that I didn't already have the answer to.. it doesn't have to be a question, it doesn't have to be an experiment..
So naturally, I did..
A look into my final project:
....and naturally, as life would have it, Adrienne really enjoyed it. It was honestly the first time I had ever attempted a project I didn't already have an answer to. I assume many of you question, what could someone possibly learn about taking photographs of public restrooms? At first I really tried to discover what I could "learn". What does the public restroom signify on a deeper level? What can I decipher about society? BIG crap.
It wasn't necesarily about what I learned, more over what I experienced. I lingered in a place one never naturally lingers (except for the occasional girl talk with girlfriends). I ducked in and out of bathroom stalls with my photo equipment while bathroom goers came and went. I looked (I mean REALLY looked) for a beauty in a place most people if looking with a magnifying glass couldn't spot. I'd like to think I found it.