For my series, Wait Watchers, I set up a camera in a heavy-foot-traffic, public area and photograph the scene as I perform mundane, everyday tasks while strangers pass by me. I then examine the images to see if any of the passersby had a critical or questioning element in their face or in their body language. I consider my photographs a social experiment and I travel the world in an attempt to photograph the reactions of a diverse pool of people. I attempt to reverse the gaze back on to the stranger and place the viewer in an awkward position of being a passive witness to a moment in time.
I place the camera on a tripod or with an assistant, in full view of the by-passing gazer, set the focus and exposure and take hundreds of photographs. I do not know if I have a successful image until I review the images on the computer. The images capture the gazer in a Cartier-Bresson, microsecond moment where the shutter, the scene, my actions and their body language align and are presented on the frame. While I do not know what they are thinking, the gazer appears to be visually troubled that I am in front of them.
Anonymity Isn't for Everyone