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  • Writer's pictureAnna Blank

Chicago Artist Portrait Series: Update

About three months ago, I started exploring and experimenting with the idea of photographing artists around the city of Chicago. I came across this idea, a month or two into me living in the heart of Downtown, and realizing that their was a massive and tangled network of creatives and artists throughout this massive scope of a city. As someone new, I of course had the craving to better understand how these artists function in such a urban landscape, and how they find their work and their life is influenced. My project started with me going back to a long-lost love of mine: analog photography. With my Olympus MJU and a roll of Porta 400 in my pocket, I set dates with people I had found over the internet, to pick their brain and take their picture. I continued on in this process for about a month. I struggled working with a small point-and-shoot camera, though the size made it easy to bring with me everywhere. The focus was unreliable, and even with the most intentional deep breathes and steady hands, nothing could combat the shakiness in certain images. I also became too conscious of the amount of film I was blowing through and having developed. Though I have a deep appreciated and admiration for film, I slowly transition over to using my digital gear for these images. Flash forward a month and a half, and I'm finding myself increasingly more confident in the work I am creating. I'm learning how to disarm my subjects, and get honesty out of them that shows once the shutter fires. I'm considering spaces and how to perfectly crowd an image with what I like visually. I'm climbing deeper into this network of amazing individuals, and so greatly enjoying my time. This is a project in process, but one I am enjoying incredibly. I will continue making blog posts on my progress and updating my Artist's Portraits tab in my portfolio. For now, I would like to post this first blog post, and highlight my session I held with Taylor C, who is a wonderful human and made a eye-catching subject.

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