Student Project Spotlight: “Affected” by Brandon Norris

Affected: artificial, pretentious, and designed to impress : the gesture appeared both affected and stagy.

In November, 2007, I began photographing a weekly event at the Bar on Castro called Booty Call.  When I first took on the project, I hardly realized the potential for growth and experimentation that it would bring.  In the past year, I’ve taken thousands of photographs; shooting hundreds of “models” against countless installation-type backdrops.  Over time, I feel that I’ve grown as a photographer, and become more skilled with lighting difficult sets and working with my subjects.

This particular body of work represents one night of Booty Call, and was shot during our one-year anniversary.  Rather than building a complicated backdrop–as we had been known to do on a weekly basis–I simply hung white seamless paper and set up umbrella lights: this time the focus was on the models.

I wanted to emphasize and celebrate the act of posing and the art of personal style with these portraits.  The models are all dynamic, creative, and interesting subjects to me.  While none of them are professional models, many live and work in fashion, performance, or entertainment.  For many of these individuals, their image is a lifestyle.

As someone who is very shy in front of the camera, and as a photographer shooting portraits, I’ve always relied on subjects who are able to come alive in front of my lens.  I hope that my love for the subject is clear from this body of work.

I carefully selected these photographs from the hundreds of others that I made on this particular night, and I treated them with great care in post production.  I wanted to create something beautiful, but without discarding the subtleties or imperfections that make these people unique.

Brandon Norris
CCSF Photography Student
PH60B “Intermediate Photoshop”

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