This is the result of a six-month photography project around northern Europe. The project relied almost entirely on the generosity of strangers. The exercise and fun part in meeting strangers is to figure out, in a matter of minutes, what we have in common.
A few conversations reveal a shape, a rough outline of that person’s life and personality. Interestingly, one unique way to sum up somebody is by finding out what object they like most, or what thing they feel represents them. It is both a personal and telling choice. Here again these things, these objects are surprisingly diverse: a toy, an outfit, a rock, a plant, usual objects which would most likely be disregarded by anyone, but which carry a very real importance for their owner. The vague outline of their personality suddenly comes into focus. And this is when the camera takes over. A large format Auto Graflex from 1909 to which is fitted an instant film backing.
Very much like the hidden side of strangers, it is the other side of the instant film which is presented in this work. Instant film, by definition, results in an immediate picture and few people know that it also produces a negative, which is usually discarded. It is a fragile and unforgiving part of the instant film process but it comes with its very own personality which is so fitting to the people it captured. It provides random scratches, blotches and color (or a lack thereof), which are reminiscent of what happens when you learn to know somebody and discover their interests, quirks and sense of humor (or lack thereof).