52 by 52 6:10am, 29 March 2012
Challenge #31: Try and apply a technique or style that is widely associated with a specific photographic genre and use it in an unconventional way.
— Maja Daniels

Maja adds...
"I came to think about the question in relation to my own practice. I have always enjoyed looking at different domains for inspiration and both fashion and sociology have taught me important lessons about how I want to approach my projects.

The fashion inspiration comes from the years I spent working with fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. A lot of Peters work has a vibe of reportage or street photography to it. He started doing this at a time when most fashion photography still happened in the studio and I found this daring crossover approach very inspiring. For example his series of models on the streets of new york. There is a gallery of these pictures on his website under : Exhibitions - "
On street".

People have commented on my series "Mady & Monette", pointing out how it looks a bit like a fashion series and I find that interesting.

Since a great part of Mady and Monette’s lives is about performing, both in front of cameras or on a stage as well as on the street, I wanted to include images of them posing for me in the project. But, I wanted to mix these more staged images with pictures of them interacting naturally as they go about their daily business. This combination works for me and I particularly like the fact that its not always obvious to tell the two approaches apart. Also, when I first spotted the sisters, I wasn't quite sure that they were real so this addition of fiction makes for a dreamy atmosphere, a bit like a mirage that reflects my initial impression of them.

Additionally, I am sure the fashion "link" is also due to the setting, the streets of Paris make the perfect backdrop for such ambiguity to be played out, confusing us with it’s references to fashion, film and art. It makes the documenting of everyday events somewhat surreal.

I like that the series can play with certain aesthetics that are not as clearly cut as, say, traditional documentary photography. However, the series remain deeply rooted in the story of the lives of Mady and Monette."


Monette & Mady

"Monette and Mady are identical twins. They have lived their whole life closely together and are, as they say, inseparable.

I used to see them on the streets of Paris near my house now and then but mainly on Sundays at our local fruit and vegetable market. I was instantly fascinated by their identical outfits and synchronized corporal language.

They stood out from any crowd and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. I remember thinking that they might not be real. They were quirky and beautiful and I only ever saw them in passing. A bit like the rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland” they always seemed to be on their way somewhere. As soon as I had spotted them, they were already gone.

Monette and Mady do not just share a close relationship as sisters, they have always lived together and they have made a profession out of their image. They act, model and dance as a couple. They are true performers and the city of Paris is their stage."

View the project >


As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group, this can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts this week.

— 52 by 52 team
TranceGender 6 years ago
I think the closest I came to a bit unconvential was in a demonstration of Turkish against Kurdish ( after an attack from the Kurd ) .
I walked in the midst of the demonstration and noticed the men were all macho about it , waving the Turkish flag and looking all serious , while many women were talking and laughing , just having a good time .

I noticed this guy that had a bit of shy and friendly face and decided to position right in front of him and make a portrait of him with the demonstration as background .
Not sure if it is even unconvential , but I choose someone and made him the centre of all ,and what the moment was really about I moved to the background .

Larking About 6 years ago
I think this is tough!
~ Meredith ~ 6 years ago
Me too. Gonna have to have a good think about this one.
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 6 years ago
May have just used a knee-jerk reaction....but here goes...

"Synthetic portraiture"
johnpaddler PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by johnpaddler (member) 6 years ago
Is Photoshop a photographic technique? Then one could take this technique commonly associated with advertising photography, and use it to clean up the streets in street photography.

Anyway, wikipedia list of pages keyworded 'photographic genre' -
Quite a mixed bag, but useful starting point for some brainstorming.
bart1eby 6 years ago
i did a street / fashion / dance cross over for the current SPNC brief

so will need to think of a new mash up for this one...
Mark W Russell 6 years ago
John- I have got that list as well and pondering the various potential genres.
Emma Georgiou PRO 6 years ago
Glad it's not only me finding this challenge a bit of a toughie, however it is giving me something to think about as I do the cleaning, shopping, cooking......etc
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 6 years ago
There is an exhibition of Manga style portraits (Anderson and Low's Manga Dreams) that might be interesting for this brief...Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.
Palofperu PRO 6 years ago
I'm with Jolex88 on this. Immediately went to recent gifts of photography books and the web and am bedazzled by the range of techniques but will have a go, nothing ventured and all that. The ironing can wait.
MOD1966 6 years ago
A challenging challenge this week, looking forward to seeing what people come up with (including myself!).
david_gillett 6 years ago
My plan at the moment is to head to Barry Island in South Wales and create a Martin Parr 'Last Resort' VS Peter Lindbergh 'On the Street' combo. There's a very good chance that'll go nowhere so I'll probably be returning to the Wikipedia list! Thanks for posting John.
msiagirl PRO 6 years ago
Been trying to think of an idea all week but feel stumped as have no access to fashion models...more in jealousy to those stunning street portraits than anything. I tried doing a candid "still life" idea of walking round and sneaking up on found object groups in my messy place, but it felt not quite right, and the light was all wrong...sigh.
johnpaddler PRO 6 years ago
- about found objects.
Maartje's new job, I find irresistible:

beestenspul #2
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