As a new topic for my photo essay, I would like to focus on the subject of shoes. This ranges from athletic shoes to dress shoes to the beat up comfort shoes of those who can’t afford them, along with the situations in which the shoes are used. While I will focus on photographing singular pairs of shoes in their specific context, I would also like to branch further and look at the contexts of shoes when they are not being used.
I am interested in this topic because I think it is a good example of the way people portray themselves, and the way that people judge others. Even if shoes are useful to a certain situation, there are nuances in the types of ways that people use shoes to identify themselves. I, for example, cycle through a couple of my favorite shoes because I care more about being comfortable in daily activities. On the other hand, my sister is running out of places to store them in her room because each pair of shoes matches a different outfit.
There will be some ethical issues (like my first proposal), although there will be less stress on getting candid photos. The subjects may be aware that I am taking their picture without effecting the general purpose of the photo. However, in some cases where candid photos may serve a greater purpose, I would still be photographing people without their permission.
I will use a digital camera to take these pictures, perhaps altering the clarity of the photos depending on the shoes in the photograph. A photo of more beat-up shoes, for example, will have less clarity than a photo of stilettos. I also have a Minolta XG-M that I may use to control the focus more, but it would not be as inconspicuous as a digital camera in these public spaces. I want to experiment with wrapping each of the cameras in saran wrap to see the effects of that as well.