So much has changed over the course of a year and a year ago when I began this project with my friend Maria, I certainly never expected this year to look as it does. Before “social distancing” became a new way of living, I asked Maria to join me in a project that could celebrate distance by shooting together for a specific purpose. We have both admired each other’s work for years and to me it seemed strange to not be able to go out and grab a coffee and take a walk through the neighborhood shooting whatever inspired us. I would watch her daily walk through life with images she posted, enjoying life through her eyes and likewise her with mine. I think we all feel like this to some degree.
For the last few years, I have been thinking about everything tangible. This is one of the many reasons why I love analog photography so much. It has a tangible process which feels much more real and thoughtful to me. I love photography, but sometimes I get lost in my digital world and miss the ability to touch some of the work I have created. With analog, its hands on from the start. Choosing the film, the camera to shoot with, metering, rewind, eject, develop and scan..and of course the results! All of which takes time, which in turn allows me to slow down a bit. Don’t misunderstand me, I still love the digital work I create and love the hell out of my Nikon D750 and the ease of which I can immediately deliver images, but the sentimental part of me longs for this film process that makes me wait with anticipation.
This project was born out of a love of film and the process of creating with it. I knew I wanted to do a project that would involve another photographer and the use of film as well as celebrating our own individual style and approach to photography. The idea was simple and straightforward keeping it minimal so it would remain uncomplicated, eliminating reasons to not finish it or that it would distract from our normal day. The recipe for the project was that we would each use the same type of film in our respective cameras and we would shoot over the course of a few days. We both shoot with Nikon FM2, so that portion was taken care of. We chose to use Kodak Portra film to shoot with and Maria had 160 and I used 400 speed. Once the film was complete, we would develop, scan and then I would collect the images and put them in a simple layout. Originally, this project was intended to be a printed zine that we would self-publish and distribute ourselves probably keeping the number to under 75 copies. The was the plan…and then the pandemic happened putting the project on hold. And so it sat for a year as the uncertainty of our situation and the financial aspects for both of us changed.
Recently and less tangible, I decided to publish the project and give it life on Behance. The response has been incredible and gave the project some much needed love and momentum. I still am in the mindset to have this published smeday as an ongoing zine, so if you are interested in this, please let me know so it stokes the fire under my ass and gets me moving on that process.
We Have Never Met is what I named it on a whim because it was simply true and in a meaningful way it holds a promise of “But I Hope We Do.”
I consider this to be a long-term project and can see working many gifted photographers from all over the world, shooting our daily life as we see it. As a matter of fact, the second part has already been completed with an online friend of mine who lives here in Warszawa…and true to form We Have Never Met. Kenny is French and lives here in Warszawa. I will be introducing him and his part in the project soon. I also have incredible photographers who have inspired me from San Francisco and London lined up for the next parts.
For now, enjoy some of the images from my project with Maria. Be sure to check out her work on Behance and Instagram…give her a follow or just tell her you saw the project. She would love to hear from you. I think I can speak for Maria here when I say that this was a very fun and interesting way for us to connect, be inspired and have some fun our own neighborhoods at a distance while enjoying the process of creation.
It feels good to have a project to work on with people I want to meet and shoot with…someday. If you are interested in participating…hit me up! My hope is to work with 36 photographers, you know like a roll of film, over the next year or two.
As always, thank you very much for your enduring support, appreciation, and kindness with my work. I appreciate all of you.
When we can travel again, I think I will be on the road to Romania to shoot with my friend Maria and have her show me her city of Cluj-Napoca. I suppose that will be the next project..”We Met”.
Here are a small selection of images. To see the full project please visit Behance. It is with intent that the images are not revealed who shot which.
These are some really nice words! I totally agree with you, it was fun and inspiring to work on this project. I’m glad to be the first photographer on this series and can’t wait to be on the other one you talked about, ‘We Met’ 😀
Thank you for this opportunity, Erik!
Its a pleasure to be able to do this with you and I meant every word. I look forward to the time when we can meet and go for a nice long photo walk together. Until then, I will enjoy watching your work from a distance. All the best to you Maria!