Caught in Time: a photobooth project (Dinos, Space, Marine Life, Together)

I’d like to go on a journey, and invite you to join me. I’m not sure exactly how it will go, which is scary, but that’s part of why it’s exciting, and why I don’t want to go alone.

Last week I watched the latest episode of Netflix’s remarkable series, ABSTRACT: The Art of Design, featuring the photographer Platon, A British portrait photographer. At the same time, I was listening to the Photochemical episode from the podcast Love and Radio, about, let’s just say, photobooths. That got me thinking about professional and amateur photography, about the photobooths I pass every day in the Museum, and all the opportunities I’ve clearly been missing.

Meags loves photobooths. From http://loveandradio.org/2017/10/photochemical/
I thought,  There must be something I can do here, something curious, and small, that can gain meaning as the collection grows (like the Wonder exhibit in D.C.).

I considered how photobooths capture people in place, and in time. They can be personal, letting us share a creative, maybe even vulnerable, side of ourselves. They can be unexpectedly intimate, providing us with the unusual opportunity to ask someone else to join us in a cramped space, in public yet behind a curtain. And they can force us to take risks, challenging us to improvise in front of a camera’s recording eye.

So what did I want to focus on?

The place? My Museum.

The people? My colleagues.

The topic? Our relationship with the Museum, and each other.

So starting in January I am going to aim to do ONE a WEEK, for the entire year (not counting when I go on vacations). I am curious to see how it develops and changes over time.

I did a test below, theming it as follows.

Photo 1: Dinosaurs!

Photo 2: Outer Space…

Photo 3: Partner’s choice (Asish below chose Hall of Marine Life)

Photo 4: Together

We’ll see over time how the photos theme’s shift. And I am curious to hear what prompts YOU would like to see us use (and if you’d like to join me).

But here we go – the first test:

Caught in Time: a photobooth project (Dinos, Space, Marine Life, Together)

Visit the full set on Pinterest here.

About Barry

The Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives at the American Museum of Natural History.
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