Sunday, January 31, 2010

The American Mall

For my photo project I decided to go to the local Provo mall and see how the average Provo mall-worker spends his/her time. It turns out there isn't as much going on at a mall as one might believe. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't find interesting people in Provo...


I think the expression on these workers' faces is a great contrast with the Sweet Spot sign.


Here we have our cell phone bill money put to good use. Three men from one cell phone store standing around chatting it up with a guy from the next cell phone booth over--apparently he also had nothing to do.


When I explained to these men what I was doing and asked if I could take their picture they said, "Wait, so you want to take a picture of us not working? Sure! As long as our boss never sees it." I like this picture because even though they knew I was taking the photo, they are still pretty candid. This is exactly how I found them--watching tv while their fourth co-worker dealt with an angry customer over the phone.


I think we all know these type of salespeople. They stand in the middle of the mall and try to flag you down to sell you something from the Dead Sea that will revitalize your skin and change your life. Well, in return for my cooperation they let me take this picture. Notice the smug facial expression and the subtle hand gesture.


Once again, I think this guy's facial expression says it all. Finally, some people in the mall actually doing work.

Fast Food

I thought that Fast Food would make an interesting photo essay and I hit the streets to visit the different chains that are represented in Provo as prominently as Church's were in Joseph Smith's Palmyra. It turned out to be very interesting, trying to peer into the inner workings of the machines that we take most for granted. The most eye-catching aspect of it was how busy each store was, not in a customer sense, but in a color and object sense. No space is left unused on the walls or counters of a fast food store.

The people working fast food were an interesting watch. With the fast-paced nature of their employment, there is always something for these employees to do. However, they certainly aren't used to people taking any interests in these mundane tasks, making my photography visit quite unusual.

The more I witnessed the fast food machine produce and produce, the more I was impressed by its simplicity and its efficiency. These employees moved about like bees and moved through their customers like water.

The most intriguing feature of all is the drive-thru. The drive-thru is the fastest way to food on the planet. It remains completely ignorant of the inner-workings of the fast food machines and the workers on the inside remain completely anonymous. There is something wonderfully withdrawn about the drive-thru that I tried to capture. I know that we were told only to take pictures of hands and such if they were particularly expressive, and so I submit that these hands tell the story of our society. Its all about output, and we'd rather remain ignorant about the people behind the scenes and their stories.

Between Two Worlds. I Spy at EFY

It seems like everyone at BYU has been to or at least knows about EFY. Since I've started working there, people have been surprised to know that I'm not a counselor and I work when its not summer. There are actually quite a few people working overtime behind the scenes to make it all come together in the summertime. As however, they are literally "behind" the scenes, nobody knows about them. For my photo essay I decided to document the other, non-glamourous side of the hard-working people at EFY. Welcome to the EFY office.


Encyclopedia - microcosm (from Greek mikros kosmos, "little world"), a Western philosophical term designating man as being a "little world" in which the macrocosm, or universe, is reflected. The ancient Greek idea of a world soul (e.g., in Plato) animating the universe had as a corollary the idea of the human body as a miniature universe animated by its own soul.

Do you like your job? How do you feel about it?

"I like a lot. I work a lot and I love it."

"It pays."

"Yeah, fine."

"It's not bad. It's not too difficult." (Cynthia)
"Mmm hmm." (C0-worker)

"I can't stop to talk."
"I'm just grateful I have work."

Provo's Clothiers-Buy Local


For this project, I decided to go to one of my favorite restaurants in Provo. Everyone I've talked to about this restaurant replies, without hesitation, that it is one of their favorites, too. Almost no one ever mentions the people who work there, but they are an integral part of the Diego's experience. Maybe no one else really notices them because they fit into the environment, but for me, they create the atmosphere of Diego's.

Candy-Coated Campus

I wanted to incorporate a facet of petits métiers that related back to my life, and the winning category was employees that worked with sugar on campus. From BYU ice cream to BYU brownies, sugar on campus has been a support to me these last four years of college, and without our dear workers, college would have been much different.


From the vantage point of the viewer, the hand reaches for the fudge and extends out of the picture. The worker embraces every quality one would think of a candy worker: bright disposition, colorful attire, and all the goodness that working around candy entails


sweet teeth

There is a multi-generation love for sugar that is shown in this photo: young college student working a minimum-wage job, an old man satisfying an endless sweet tooth, and middle-schoolers looking for a quick-fix.