As a new resident to Wellington and New Zealand, I was struck by the strong individuality of the people I would pass on the street, not necessarily from a style or fashion perspective, but more an attitude or a presence. In late 2012 I set out to try and document this ‘visual identity’ of Wellington by taking portraits of people I would meet on the street or find via social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
Using formal staging in a studio environment, all my sitters are photographed in exactly the same way, using the same lighting, the same camera exposures, the same studio background, and asked to stand in the same series of positions. I select one final portrait from each person photographed and add it to a growing community of portraits on the project.
Wellington celebrated it’s the 150th anniversary in July 2015 – the time is right to create a visual document that represents the people of Wellington at this point in its history.
© Russell Kleyn 2012 – 2015
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