“The internet traded my personality” by Sasha at the kitchen island

Saturday April 25, 2020
5 minutes
Vancouver for Beginners
Alex Leslie

What is the photograph on the chest of drawers in the bedroom? Is it your mother? Your mother’s mother? Your mother’s mother’s mother? These women all carried the seeds of you in them and that’s really all that matters. Cut-out dolls in different shaped dresses, similar shaped bodies, strange toes, ground molars. You’ll scan this photo one day, but for now it only exists in hard copy and there’s something about the impermanence of that that is bold. You’ve never known anyone who has had a fire, but the threat is there, especially now. I remember when you showed me around the house and I looked at the recipes on the fridge, opened the cupboards, tilted my head to read the titles of the book shelves.

“Professional photography” by Julia at her dining table

Sunday, March 27, 2016
5 minutes
from a flyer

Abigail got my parents a professional photo session for their anniversary. I told her not to waste her money on something like that cause it would be more of a gift for her and not them. She told me that everybody likes having nice photos of themselves and that was literally the end of that. Abi can be so stubborn sometimes. She once hired a clown to entertain at her own kid’s birthday even though he’s scared to death of clowns and spent the whole afternoon crying in the bathtub. She doesn’t want to listen, she just wants to do what ever she thinks will be best. I have stopped questioning if she ever thinks past herself and considers putting somebody before her. I know the answer. She doesn’t. My parents did the photo shoot to appease her because her temper is as unpredictably violent as you can imagine, and they are the most awkward and cringe worthy photos you’ve ever seen, let alone that my parents have ever been in. I want to take her into a sound proof room sometimes and shake the living shit out of her while just screaming NO to her over and over.

“senior’s line dancing” by Sasha in the bath

Wednesday November 4, 2015
5 minutes

Grams rolls her cigarettes with the concentration of a surgeon, or a chemist. The photos of her smoking are my favourite in the series, even though I don’t like that she does it. I photograph her every time I go to Sudbury and stay in the guest suite at her Nursing Home. She meets me in the dining room for breakfast at seven thirty and she’s wearing a lavender dress and a black cashmere sweater with teal pumps. Her hair is in a french twist and her lipstick matches her dress. I take her picture, as she eats her cream of wheat.

“Selfie?” by Julia on the train to Bologna

Sunday December 7, 2014
5 minutes
Overheard on a bridge in Venice

This man was selling SELFIE ARMS. Do you even know what those are? Ok, say you want to take a vacation and you’re all by yourself. Say you want a memory of you and the ocean but you don’t want to take the photo on your own cause it’ll look like you don’t have anyone else or that you got desperate and needed to see your face beside a landmark. There are contraptions you can buy, attach to your phone, and then, I don’t know, program it to take a photo in precisely the right amount of time for you to get ready, smile, wish you had someone there with you even though you’re happy you’re learning about independence and humility, and trusting your own instincts or whatever, and then think back to that ocean that you’ll be so damn happy you have a record of. They sell those now, you know?

“Selfie?” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 7, 2014
5 minutes
Overheard on a bridge in Venice

I’m not sure about this snap snap craze
I’m on the other side and I’ve been there for days
I dig the reclamation of representation of self
But there’s something about connection that’s up on a shelf
Looking up and down the row of face and phone
I wonder about reality, what’s here and what’s shown
Portraiture has always and forever been a thing
But the self obsession and preoccupation makes me wanna fling
My iPhone in the ocean and let it wash out to sea
I don’t need a photo to tell myself who’s me

“regal and graceful” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
5 minutes
Shamanic Experience
Kenneth Meadows

She wears a ’67 Nikon around her neck
Her strand of pearls
More precious than the ring left by a generation
Gathering dust faeries on her dresser-top
She wears a ’67 Nikon around her neck
She is always ready
Pointer finger poised
F-stop set to “take me right and slow”
She knows light like you know Maxwell’s voice
Singing you through hormones and heartbreaks
She knows shutterspeeds like you know the highway
Coming home late
Coming home feeling full and tired
She walks your city because you don’t anymore
Regal and graceful
Alone and happy
Independent and searching
She never thought she’d find home
But she did
Snapping chestnuts and fresh bread
Baby hands and dive bars