A few months back, I picked up a new film camera. With it, I really wanted to start a portrait series that mixes photography with bragging about the awesome humans who I’m surrounded by. So, I’ve begun this 2 roll portraits series where I sit down with someone, talk with them for 20 minutes, hear who they are and where they’re at and then use that as a guide to shoot 2 rolls of film photography.
Daniel sat down for our interview with stuff on his pants. He decided to blame it on his son, Trey. Daniel is the kind of guy who lives in a suit when working and basketball shorts and wool socks at home. Daniel is a financial advisor with a 2 year old at home. He was joking that everyone he works with would have no idea what he looks like at home.
We dove into the conversation by asking if he was someone who was good at just diving into life, if he felt comfortable just wading into the new waters. It was how I had perceived him, but I was surprised to hear that he was someone who felt at home when others were uncomfortable and then was uncomfortable when others felt normal. He wasn’t saying that he sought out awkwardness (or that he even pursued it), but rather that he had a propensity to be OK in situations where everyone is testing the waters, but very much feared feeling like the odd man out. Who can’t relate to that? I’m was glad to hear someone name a situation I had felt many times at parties or get togethers.
From there, our conversation wandered to work and the feelings of success that we all strive for. I think success is a hard topic for millennial to really put their finger on. What does that look like in our post-modern sense. He agreed with that feeling, but felt that in his personal life, it was even harder to accept that successful feeling. He was thinking that if he told his 27 year old self that in 5 years, he would be married, with a mortgage, a kid, and still be a financial advisor (a job where only 1 in 10 make it 5 years), his younger self would probably be pretty proud. But, that current self isn’t able to accept the progress as a good thing.
I didn’t want to end our conversation with despair, so I asked what gives him joy. To him, it’s people. Whether it’s the little moments of being with Allie and Trey and just they little moments they have together or it’s time with friends, he gets life from being with people. He says that he is still an extrovert, but that (like so many things for people who are entering a new stage of life), things are changing. He isn’t the same version of extroverted that he was when he was a kid, but rather wants to seek out the joys that come in conversations that mean things. I know so many people who get life from being surrounded by others, but it is special to see the way that his joy comes strongest from the meaningfulness that come with real conversations about the topics of our lives (obviously mixed with the goofiness of life as well).
I want to thank Daniel so much for being my first guinea pig (though that might mean something else to my Peruvian friends) on this project. I’m still so humbled by his candor and the openness that he held throughout the whole interview and portrait series. It was a honor to be on this side of it. If you want to be in the 2 roll series, send me a email. Let’s make it happen.
Camera: Mamiya RZ67
Film: Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Tri-X 400
Joe Tobiason | Seattle portrait photographer | Wedding photography PNW