Week 3: Candy Cigarette

So selecting a photo for this week’s assignment was a bit of a challenge.  I asked friends and family for suggestions tons of times, and in the process came up with some pretty funny ideas.  My mother suggested that my very athletic aunt pose as Brandi Chastain the moment she scored the winning goal of the world cup.  I thought it would be funny to create a little model of the Loch Ness Monster and put it in my bathtub to recreate that infamous photo.  But in the end, I ended up selecting one that may not be “famous” according to many, but that I have stumbled upon several times, making it famous enough for me in regards to this tasks, as well as one that has stuck with me as a really interesting image.

Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989, toned sivler gelatin print.

Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989, toned silver gelatin print.

The above image, as captioned, was taken by Sally Mann, and is from her series Immediate Family.  The image of her daughters captures the line between the innocence of childhood, and their development into adulthood.  It encompasses everything that you would go through at that age; youth, purity, playfulness, defiance, attitude, confusion.  As titled, she is holding a candy cigarette, but her pose suggests a much more mature demeanor than that of a child with a piece of candy.  You can see more about this series and image here, and check out Sally Mann’s work at her website here.

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My recreation

So while I don’t have children, or an abundance of models to recreate the scene exactly, I have again enlisted my good friend to help me with yet another photo project.  She has a fairly youthful look, and has even been mistaken for my little sister, or child (I don’t look that old!!), which greatly helps in recreating the original image.  I attempted to keep a relatively shallow depth of field to blur the background, also mimicking the original.  To stray from the innocence of the original image, I decided to replace the candy cigarette with an actual one, and have her light up, to take some more edgy images, if you will.  I kept the original pose, but instructed her to just allow the smoke to bellow out of her mouth, leaving some pretty lovely trails of smoke fading away in the wind.  I wanted to keep the look of innocence in her pose and facial expression, but contradict that with the action of having a lit cigarette.  Check them out!  Hope you enjoy!

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