Last fall I began photographing New Jersey-based celebrity impersonator Michele Marzano for my photojournalism class under the guidance of Whitney Johnson of The New Yorker. Through this ongoing project I discovered a growing interest in documentary visual storytelling and became inspired by the challenge of maintaining my visual aesthetic with such distinctly different subject matter in comparison to my past work.
In documenting Michele, I, too, learned a lot about myself as a photographer: finding stylistic habits in framing, lighting and color as well as rediscovering how much I love the process of getting to know subjects and "making" their portraits in a natural, atmospheric setting.
Since posting photographs in December from the project (which can be found here) I have received a lot of interest in finding out more about Michele & her story. Michele and I had spent a lot of time talking candidly before, after, and in-between our shoots, without the "camera rolling". I wanted to add a third dimension to the project by showing some of her personality through a short audiovisual portrait.
So, two weeks ago, I visited Michele in Sayreville, NJ to shoot this "moving portrait" accompanied by audio clips from an ongoing interview. I am beginning to delve into becoming a cinematographer and it was another exciting challenge to reconcile my photographic eye through a new medium: film.
A very special thanks to my two wonderful crew members who traveled with me to New Jersey and assisted during my film shoot, Christopher Murphy and Min Joo Kim. Also to my film professor Laszlo Santha and photojournalism professor Whitney Johnson for their advice and support.
xx jacqueline harriet