Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Going Viral

August Bradley’s personal project “99 Faces of Occupy Wall St.” was simple to execute and brought immediate media attention as it caught fire online


This Article Features Photo Zoom
Accompanying each image was a short quote from each subject explaining his or her principal motivation for being there. "The personal statements certainly add a lot to the photos," Bradley says, "just as the photos add to the personal statements. Together they bring a greater depth and a better glimpse of the person. They're sometimes in contrast to each other—some of the more radical looks have some of the most thoughtful statements, while some of the more conservative faces have more aggressive and angry comments. Together they reveal the complexity of people more than either component individually."

The Website
The approach to the photography and the design of the website was minimal for both practical and aesthetic reasons. The need to get the images up as quickly as possible was paramount, so the website layout was designed to do three things—to emphasize the images while giving an introductory overview to Bradley's "sea of faces" and to enable viewers to further explore the issue as they saw fit.

"A headshot is by its nature simple in composition," Bradley notes in regard to the homogenous approach to composition, "yet good ones capture the complexity of the person, revealing an emotional depth. There's some variety to these images, but in the end, I saw it as a series that needed to fit together."

While it hadn't occurred to him that there would be any negative reaction from clients in regards to working on an Occupy Wall Street project, the overall result from the project is that a self-started initiative satisfied Bradley's yearnings as an artist, challenged him as a photographer, rounded out his portraiture portfolio and also brought him a great deal of attention online. Bradley laughs that he's not sure how long that attention will last, but he says that this is just the beginning for him, one of many endeavors that he will continue to engage in between paying projects.

"I hope it will enable more portrait work," he says, "particularly, in instances where access isn't as easy to obtain—it's nice to have a showcase that was well received when pitching new ideas. Regardless, I'll certainly be pursuing more personal projects like this on a wide range of unrelated subjects. I had already been planning several others before this one occurred to me."

You can see the full project at www.99facesofoccupywallst.org. To see more of August Bradley's photography, go to www.augustbradley.com.


 

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