Street photography results in some of the most intriguing photos that exist. And sometimes you’re left wondering how a photographer was able to get away with snapping photos of strangers like that. It seems like it could be really awkward as soon as someone realized they’re being documented without their permission.
But here’s a simple trick to get rid of all the potential discomfort of simply pointing your camera at a stranger and snapping their picture…
Now, no matter how shy you are, you too can be a total creep…I mean street photographer.
Sculptor Nina Levy began sketching drawings with a black Sharpie on her son Archer’s nursery school lunch napkins in September 2006. It didn’t take long before she ventured beyond just a black Sharpie…
Around 11 PM at Our House
Eight years later, the sculptor from Brooklyn is still drawing on napkins for her sons Archer, now 11, and 7-year-old Ansel. Incredibly, she’s maintained this work of love every single day over the entire eight years.
Nina spends 1-2 hours each night on her drawings, taking inspiration from what her boys tell her they’d like to see when they go to bed. She eventually started a blog and Facebook page where she’s shared over 900 napkins online, but the hard copies are the property of her sons, who frequently save them. The young boys admit to using paper towels at school or just wiping their hands on their shirts to preserve their mom’s amazing work on the napkins.
Each napkin comes with a fun and inspiring message from Nina to her sons along with the drawings that range from soft and delicate to stronger themes that led one teacher to ask the artist to tone down her napkins.
We’ve included a few of Nina’s amazing works here, but be sure to check out her blog for more napkin drawings every day…
Since then, Suzanne and I have kept in contact, and a couple months ago I got the skinny on her planned “chapter two” of her project, officially called “The Playing House Project,” in which she and her stoic mannequin husband renew their wedding vows.
I took the opportunity to send Suzanne a few questions to get a deeper understanding of her project. She graciously took the time to thoughtfully answer them, and to give us an exclusive scoop on the renewal ceremony photos.
You’re the first to see these, so enjoy!
Suzanne, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. I came across your work in mid-February this year and was delighted by it. Since then, on our site alone, it’s been shared 150,000 times on Facebook. And I know you’ve had a lot of press elsewhere too. But you’ve been committed to this project for a long time. How does it feel to see something into which you’ve invested so much time and energy garner the exposure it has recently?
It’s just like jumping into a hot spring. Shocking at first, and wonderful once you get used to it. I’ve said before that I’m pleased as punch to be born at the time I was. Not only because as a woman, I’ve got more choices in life than any generation before, but I’m also amazed at how much opportunity, and exposure, living in the information age provides.
In addition to doing more typical commissioned paintings, English artist My Little Sweet-pea is available for “Bump Painting.” Dozens of women have hired her to create temporary body art for their pregnant bellies.
Some women choose children’s stories as their theme; others pick an image that signifies the life growing within them; and some just want a beautiful picture. Here are some examples…