For Indonesian-born and Montreal-based photographer Vinna Laudico, an interest in the passing lives of others has been her focus point of fascination. Near Stranger a recent project by the photographer was born from this “interest and curiosity of the street/urban portraiture and vernacular photography,” she tells It’s Nice That.
“When I walk around the streets, I look at strangers and wonder who they are and what their stories are about,” Vinna explains. As this point of interest developed, Vinna was simultaneously taking portraits of people she contacted through Instagram, which is where she met Kaiti, the regular stranger adopting alternative personalities within the project.
Since the pair met, “we’ve been working together constantly,” but allow serendipity to naturally occur on shoot day. Each shot of Kaiti sees her adopt a different persona. In using an array of props, the audience’s interpretation of Kaiti jumps from frame to frame. It is interesting to see how much difference it makes if the protagonist is holding a beer or a book, or how the styling can alter the age characters age. Vinna and Kaiti’s photographic partnership works seamlessly across each photograph. “I’ve found that her quietly confident personality and her sense of style are the best match for the project… by just using clothing and various locations enough to add a meaning to the characters” says the photographer.
On preparing a shoot the pair “usually talk lightly about which characters and locations prior to the shoot, then we let the magic happen without huge preparation,” Vinna explains. With the aim of “capturing the essence of the character” and to avoid the photographs looking staged, Vinna shoots in nondescript places such as a supermarket or cafe, so that each persona of Kaiti’s feels like someone we’ve all walked past or bumped into.
“I think this project is about an attempt to tell the hidden stories,” says Vinna. “But also an exploration of women representations, and at the same time having so much fun while doing it.”
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