Here's another project I really want to work on, the Alaskan Solstice Portrait Project. It comes out of the Pioneer Portrait Studio. I want to make to a series of portraits on the Summer Solstice after people have been awake for 24 hours, and I want to make the images in the style of the studio portraits I made on my first Alaska visit. It would be a "to be determined" number of portraits of folks who have agreed to stay awake from the precise astronomical sunrise until the astronomical sunset on June 21st. This project would be made between Latitude 61 and the North Pole. Almost all of the Alaskans I met spoke about summer with a sort of euphoria that bordered on hysteria and I want to record that very human moment, the exhaustion, disorientation and joy after the pleasure of the day.
I'd also like to propose that this be an Alaska wide project, with having a number of photographers in Alaska making portraits of people who have stayed awake for the duration of the longest day of the year, in whatever style they want. I'd like this to be an open project, anyone and everyone should be able to participate and submit photos in addition to a number of photographers who would be asked to commit to making a photo for the project. I think this will not be particularly difficult... many places in the AK are inaccessible by road, but most places are online. I would love for Anchorage to Barrow and every town in between to participate in this project.
The project could conclude with a show of the photographs, possibly to open on the Winter Solstice. The images could also be available online.
This project gets at a lot of things I saw up there and is very Alaska specific. I think I could get at something really interesting by recording the moment that ends this ecstasy filled day, a day that people look to with incredible fervor. But more than that, I'm interested in having others participate in recording that moment. It's a project that's specific to the Northern latitudes of Alaska as well as the Alaskan spirit, particularly in regard to endurance. Also, Alaskans have a strain of separatism running through them, and this is a project that connects them as Alaskans while emphasizing the otherworldliness of the Alaskan land. "Outside" sure as hell doesn't have a midnight sun.
Again, kind of pipe dream because how the hell can I get back up to Alaska? But I must! I must get back up there to do this. I am filled with great ideas... except for any ideas about making money.