“We the People” Photo Series

Description

“We the People” is an examination of the cultural diversity of the United States through the medium of formal family portrait photography. Consisting of large framed prints, the series guides the viewer through the living space of 26 culturally unique, American families to help the viewer to connect with the subjects; to see the foreign become familiar.

The diversity and cultural intersectionality found in the United States is unprecedented, and is one of our country’s great strengths. As our nation becomes increasingly polarized, the benefits of that diversity are sometimes lost as people take one of two sides. Whether division is stoked around identities of religion, race, gender, or country of origin – it is always the process of making those who disagree with us a part of the “other” instead of seeing them as fellow human beings. There is no line between “us” and “them.”

This project will consist of 26 unique framed 30” x 45” images. Each portrait will take place in the home with as many family members as possible. The goal is to show both the diversity of the different families and commonalities they share with the viewer and each other. I have elected to shoot in the home because the space is both familiar and private. The elements of the home will serve as landmarks for the viewer. A familiar fireplace or decoration will act as a signpost for the viewer helping them to connect with an individual or the family as a whole. Consistency in posing and lighting techniques will bring continuity to the images when viewed side-by-side. Each family will help show a particular culture in America, in the hopes that the differences and commonalities between cultures can generate discussion on how that diversity is beneficial.

Geographic Coverage

I will be traveling throughout the United States to meet with families, but will concentrate most of my shoots in Columbus, New York City, and Los Angeles.

How I plan to share the project publicly

Photos and backstories will be shared on my professional website. There will also be at least one gallery showing. Shorter versions of each family’s story will be hung with the photo of that family. Ideally, all the subjects would be invited to attend the gallery opening, so that they can mix with other subjects. There is the possibility of additional shows in the city I photograph the most often for the project.

If you are interested in participating in this project at no cost to you, please apply here: http://www.meghanralston.com/we-the-people-project-application/

Please note – participation in this series comes with no cost. This is a series of portrait photographs that I will be showing as fine art. As a thank you for your participation,  you will receive 3 copies of the final photo for free