I is for Imitation
The sincerest form of flattery
Hi there! Welcome back!
Copying is a big part of art. A common technique for learning how to paint is to copy existing paintings. Similarly, people often stage photographs to recreate existing ones.
And I do the same thing! Every so often I’ll take a picture, and then later I’ll try to recreate it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been trying to recreate a photo of Vanessa and Chris from Friendsgiving (from F is for Focus) for years with varying degrees of success.
This week we’re looking at a pairs of photos, with an original, and a second photo taken to match.
In 2018, I went to England to swim the Channel. Melissa signed up for a slot the same week, and trained together in SF. We continued to do some training swims when we got to Dover, we documented our first there. Mandy snapped this first picture of us when we had just gotten out of the water and walked back to Melissa’s hotel. We’re in our parkas, excited from the swim we just did, and generally excited about our upcoming swims. Out of the batch, this first one is one of my favorites. I love how our faces have the mix of excitement and a little bit of trepidation, too.
A year later, Melissa and I both signed up for the Manhattan 20 Bridges swim, and we happened to both get picked to swim the same day. On that day, we were both preparing to get in our boats, and we were wearing our matching parkas again. I suggested we stand on the same sides as the picture we took in England, giving us this second photo. Melissa has an incredible memory and knew exactly which picture I was talking about, so you can see with both did our best to match the same faces as we had in the England photo. It was great to take advantage of this coincidence that we were swimming together again and imitate that first photo.
In Overalls and Sunglasses
In 2018 Mandy and I carpooled up to a Model UN conference in Visalia. Mandy suggested we take some time on our way up to walk around the Pyramid Lake campgrounds, so we hopped out of the car and took some photos. Mandy was wearing a cool pair of overalls and sunglasses, and we took these silly “influencer-ish” photos. They don’t tell too much of a story on their own, but they were fun to take.
Flash forward to this year. After being brainwa… convinced by an ad on Instagram, I ended up ordering a pair of black overalls for myself. When they arrived, I realized that they were kind of similar to the ones Mandy had, so I realized it was the perfect opportunity to imitate the photos of Mandy. I pulled up the photos on my phone, and got my friend Meghan to help me take some photos during one of our quarantine walks to get ice cream. Meghan was really into the concept, and did a great job helping me make sure I had my legs and hands posed to match the original photos. I need to work on my disaffected-sultry-influencer-ish poses, I could barely stop giggling to take these these photos. But in the end, and I love how close we got!
The individual photos are good, but they don’t mean much to me. The collection of all together is so full of energy. I giggle every time I look at this last photo of me awkwardly making a peace sign in front of my mouth.
✌️ Thanks for reading, and see you next week!