institute for documentary studies

{Week 6: Multimedia}

Week 6: Multimedia

Let’s see, when I last checked in here, I said approaching strangers and asking to take their picture made me feel like an awkward teen asking someone out on a first date. Well, a lot can happen in three weeks, because I now sort of feel like I just got back from a senior trip to Tijuana – not quite so innocent, a bit more experienced, and maybe just a little bit cocky. I’ve seen and done things I’ve never, ever done before. And I came back from with some pretty good pictures, too.


Some of my classmates started calling me “Smith 2.0.” It happened after that one weekend that involved two assignments: For photo class, I hung out with drag queen for 24 uninterrupted hours, and for multimedia, I shadowed a local actress in the hours leading up to curtain time for her one-woman show. Both subjects were incredibly generous with their time and granted an unexpected degree of access and intimacy. Considering that the first Salt assignment I ever turned in consisted of nothing but storefronts shot from the opposite side of the street, that I was now finally seizing the moment and stepping in to catch some intense close-ups was a big, big deal.


But the Salt experience is nothing if not moody and bi-polar, and with such ups come the inevitable downs. Just a few days ago, I received the clearest, plainest, most flat-out “NO” from a hopeful subject. And while it didn’t make me cry [bites lower lip], it did make me feel like laying in the fetal position for about a half hour.


And I did. (If you haven’t laid in the fetal position lately, I highly recommend it.) But then I got back up and picked up the phone and made another round of calls and suddenly one of the subjects of my final multimedia project was inviting me over for dinner with her husband and their four kids. Yet another case of that darn proverbial door closing and then opening, and I’m sure it’ll hit me in the face two-three times or more before the semester ends.


Until next time…


- smith, photo