There aren't many rules for the Everyday People photo project. I use a 50mm lens and I have to find a new portrait every day of the year. No stockpiling of pictures. The idea started as a way to reconnect with Tulsa, the city where I'd worked as a news photographer years before, and to create a documentary photo collection along the way.
It's more than just random people I meet on the street, although that is certainly one aspect of the project. To really explore and document people in the city, I have to put myself in places where my daily assignments or my daily life might not take me.
There are interesting coincidences that happen when collecting this many pictures on a regular basis. When I talk to my wife or to other photographers about this, I've started referring to it as 'the art of portrait seeking.' Some of my favorite pictures are from days when I dropped in on a former fighter, a drag queen, a yoga instructor, a Junior League meeting and a pro-life rally. Some pictures happen with the first person I meet, other pictures happen after several people refuse to be photographed or refuse to talk.
To me, the mosaic that the pictures form is just as important as each individual portrait. I'm not necessarily looking for people who stand out in a crowd or the most famous people in Tulsa; I'm looking for people who love their hobbies or their careers, people who are devoted to their religion and people who are still learning who they are.
By the end of the year I'll have a collection of pictures that document the people of Tulsa. A record of who we were in 2012.
You can see the project by clicking here
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