Monday, October 8, 2007

Cheerleader Photo

Here's a great photo from Jason (aka SweetAshvegas), taken for the latest installment of "A Day in the Life of Asheville" photo project. I participated in the one in April of this year, but sat this round out. I think Jason is a great photographer of the photojournalist ilk. In my youth I worked at a newspaper with some great photographers, and learned the power of the photo that captures something about a person or relationship. That was also the time when I was a teenager, and shot football games on Friday nights and umm, "admired" the cheerleaders.

So here's what I love about this photo. There is this pair of girls hugging and smiling huge for the camera, front and almost center in the frame. When I first saw the photo in smaller form I almost thought it was a mother/daughter pair. The girl on the right looks so young and girlish and the one on the left so much more mature. It feels to me like it's about the transition we go through in the high school years from child to adult. Right away I was grabbed by everything else that is going on in the frame. There are these 7 other girls clearly visible in the picture, and they all seem to be in compelling individual portraits at once. None of them seem to be relating to each other, which is such a contrast to the pair in the front. They all seem to have their own space in the photo, even though some are in front of or behind another girl. Most are looking or moving in different directions. All the girls seem to be white and about the same size (skinny) and have the same color and length of hair. And this similarity contrasts again with how they all seem to be in their own "worlds" in the photo. Finally, they are almost floating on this inky black surface that pops their white shoes out like light bulbs. If not for the white lines on the track, which further keeps my eye on the move, they might have actually floated out of the frame.

Great shot Jason. It's always exciting to see what you've been shooting.

1 comment:

ash said...

Thanks Edward. I love getting feedback from people to find out what they like (and don't like) about photos. I'm always intrigued by what people respond to.

I'll tell you how this photo came to be. I was hanging around, trying to just get the group used to me being around with a camera and trying to get them to be natural. But the two in the photo ran up to me when they saw my camera and asked me to take their picture. I did, and moved on.

When I went back to look at it, I loved it. I loved the open display of huggy friendship. And I loved the scene behind, which is such a teen scene. Everybody is trying to be cool, but not quite what's cool, so they're looking at everybody else to see what's cool. I think that's why there's the feel of each in her own space. The white shoes on black track and stripes on the track just worked out.

And it's interesting that you picked up on the maturity of the girl on the left in the sweater. She was clearly a leader of the group, one that all the other girls were looking to and taking signals from.