People Who Came To My House
The individuals in these portraits were providing a service or making a delivery at my former house in a well-to-do neighborhood in Chicago. They are a part of the large body of seen and unseen people who made my life easy and comfortable. By waiting for whoever showed up, I inverted the usual process of seeking out subjects to photograph. As a group, the work illuminates the underpinnings of a comfortable lifestyle in an elegant Victorian house and the social structures of the city. The subjects originate from all over: Germany, Bulgaria, Brazil, Vietnam... Many came from distant parts of the metropolitan area to provide their services, as much as thirty miles away.
I used available light and an 8x10 camera, a cumbersome tool with perverse advantages. I could stand next to the camera instead of hiding behind it and the slow shutter speeds require a semi-formal approach. Most of my subjects had little time to spare; sometimes I was able to set the camera up in advance, for the rest I worked fast and hoped for the best. The elegant Victorian house and neighborhood served as backdrop and as counterpoint.