"...And all the faces, all the clothes beneath the faces,
the shapes and gestures of bodies
were turning into one-line stories and I couldn't
stop summoning them, it made me dizzy:
all these lives that we were taking unawares,
confetti, heads of bobbing swimmers,
a sentence for each life. Please, when mine is read,
make it raw and beautiful at once."
- an excerpt from "Being Taught" by Dick Allen
A friend of mine said to me once, "People are complex and you must give them time to reveal themselves." So often I am guilty of seeing someone and then defining him or her from the few visual clues I have to work with. People are much more interesting than just their appearance though.
I chose to photograph individuals who deal with books: a personal librarian, a collector of rare books, a preventer of book theft, a book repair specialist, and a science fiction writer. As I photographed, I asked them to tell me about their favorite books. At first glance they are just people who work and move, but as each individual explained to me what they liked to read and why they enjoyed books so much they seemed to come alive. People are so much more than their small trade; they have interests, passions, thoughts, likes and dislikes. I tried to capture that complexity.
Favorite Book: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Collector of Rare Books
Favorite Book: Astronomia nova, published in 1609, by Johannes Kepler
Preventer of Book Theft
Favorite Book: One In Thine Hand by Gerald N. Lund
Book Repair Specialist
Favorite Book: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Science Fiction Writer
Favorite Book: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card