Most people hate the way they look on Skype. Their forehead is too close to the camera and the lighting is a disaster. Chris Fitzgerald, however, has managed to use the online talk tool to create a seriously awesome series of photographs. We caught up with him to find out more about The Skype Series, his personal style and how you can shoot women (like, take their picture, not kill them). He was even cool enough to share some never-before-seen photos.
CM: So what was the idea behind the Skype series?
Chris: The Skype Series came about after I moved cross-country to Los Angeles. I’d met a lot of great people that I loved to work with in Memphis and it was a slow process building up new relationships in LA. Part of it was missing those friends and part of it was that need to keep creating new work. After lamenting with a friend about how we weren’t going to be in the same city for some time I had the Skype idea. A lot of my work deals with voyeurism, anxiety, and the intersection where eroticism and the grotesque converge. Ultimately, these images speak to the themes I have been exploring in my work for a while, but they focus heavily on the voyeur aspect and bring into question the image itself, as there is a softness and an element of distortion to them because of the web connection. The limits of the webcam enhance this feeling and play on the hyper-sexuality of the internet itself, and our own voyeuristic tendencies online.
CM: How would you describe your style?
Chris: That’s a tough question for me, actually. I appreciate many different forms of photography and all forms of art so I try not to limit myself too much. People have told me that my work is raw, loose and confrontational, and I would agree with that for the most part. It’s important to me to make work that is tense or anxious or that confuses the viewer in some way. I want people to be drawn in but also feel hesitant at the same time. That push/pull sensation is something I’m always chasing.
CM: What tips would you give someone who wants to photograph women?
Chris: For anyone who wants to photograph women (or people in general) I’d say start with your friends. Don’t put a lot of pressure on it, just grab a camera and go do something fun. Seek out people you think are interesting both in appearance and personality. I think taking a personal interest in people ultimately results in a better connection and better photos. Oh, and SHOOT FILM! It will slow you down and make you respect the process a lot more.
Check out the rest of the Skype Series on Cultnoir.com.