I am being featured this March for my Neighbours Project in Professional Photographer Magazine. I am heading off the Foreground section with an article entitled “Painstaking Beauty” edited by Amanda Arnold. There is a neat little animation here of the magazine showing the first few pages including my work. The full article is below and you can download the digital edition here.
Who knew a personal project could grow into such a huge thing? It’s been well worth it. Make sure to get your tickets for the show on March 27th at Studio Denver. Get them over at the Neighbours Project website. I don’t have many left.
PORTRAITS OF HOMELESSNESS
Wet plate photography is the tool one Denver photographer is using to give assistance in his community. Dylan Burr used the method to tell the personal stories of some of Denver’s homeless. For the project, dubbed The Neighbours Project, he interviewed and photographed 30 homeless people who frequent the St. Francis Center, a local shelter. He then created a 30-minute documentary film, a book, and a series of wet plate portraits that will be auctioned to raise money for the person pictured.
Wet plate photography is a slow, methodical process created in the late 1800s that requires subjects to sit very still while a portrait is being made. To garner trust and capture a meaningful expression, “You have to build a relationship with that person,” Burr says. So he talked with his subject for a while before the picture was set up to be captured. The result was a “re-humanizing of the person,” Burr says. “They feel forgotten, much like the wet plate process.”
Working with wet plate has influenced Burr’s digital work as well. He now pulls his face away from the camera and engages with the subject before he sets up and captures a shot. “It ends up being faster in the long run because you’re editing less,” he says. “And your photographs are better because you’re paying attention.”
For more information on The Neighbours Project visit neighboursproject.com.