Order Women Like Pizza 2014 Las Vegas, NV
Hi-res file, click to view
From The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
This is the world record for how close you can get to a person and shoot a candid. (And if it is not the world record, I have many others going down to a few inches that are candid.)
I shot this same thing maybe 30 to 40 times with different people. (all candid) I was caught maybe 2 or 3 times, but just kept walking. If camera was silent, then would not have been caught. It was shot with a noisy Leica M240.
When I speak of camera ergonomics that allow specialized candid work this is a good example. Very hard to shoot like this with a giant dslr. A mini M43 would have been better, if one existed and was Leica-like and took a circle fish.
This was shot about a foot way if measured by bodies or few inches if measured by hands. I had no idea what I was getting into. If it is on the street I just shoot. When I got home I researched the cards they hand out and then put it all together.
Very hard to post process. I shot into the sun. Close to 30 versions to get something doable. It is hard to print, requires 3 passes through the printer. The border was shot at 2 in the morning with a little 16mp handheld Fuji camera by incandescent light. It was off color, so I did some color work on it. I have mentioned my hate for shooting still life’s, commercial work etc. Still the border came out good enough for me.
In this day and age a photog would have to be careful about producing Order Women Like Pizza with all the #MeToo stigma. But if you are underground, as I am, you have no worries. You can do as you like and you can name your photo as you like. As long as legal you can be true to your vision, you got nothing to lose. In fact you would welcome the attention any controversy would bring you. But attention is not why I did it. I use photography to make sense of the world plain and simple.
A 13 x 19 archival pigment print of Order Women Like Pizza was offered as a donation to 53 museums. 1 museum accepted the print, 4 or 5 replied with ‘no thanks’ and the rest were no replies. None of the photo curators that were presented with the donation proposal were museum quality photogs themselves. (or even photogs) Curators are generally art history majors and have no idea what goes into producing this type of work. When dealing with museums you learn to just suck it up and move on to the next project.
Amazingly, this photo almost didn’t come about. As I said above, I had shot this same photo dozens of times. Being that I got ADD, I was getting sick of shooting the same thing. This was shot on the last day, on the last hour of shooting. I had to keep forcing myself to shoot this same subject every time I came across it on the street. I had to force myself to make sure I did the best I could and didn’t leave anything on the table.
Photographer Josef Koudleka sums it up best…
“What interests me is taking photographs to the maximum – the maximum that exists in a situation and the maximum that I myself can produce from it.” Koudelka goes on to say he will re-shoot a project repeatedly “to reassure me I have in fact achieved the maximum.”
From the 1981 book World Photography by Bryn Campbell.