The photographer Diane Arbus spoke about entering into people’s (actually strangers’) homes, “If I were just curious, it would be very hard to say to someone, ‘I want to come to your house and have you talk to me and tell me the story of your life.’ I mean people
are going to say, ‘You’re crazy.’ Plus they’re going to keep mighty guarded. But the camera is a kind of license. A lot of people, they want to be paid that much attention and that’s a reasonable kind of attention to be paid”.
Pet Project, is a photographic portrait project of strangers, taken in the tradition of Arbus, I enter into peoples lives and homes. I do not know these people until the moment I begin to set up for the shot but during our time together I learn about them. I gather my subjects from the online community website Craigslist, a website where you can buy, sell or rant about anything under the sun. The ad reads: “Graduate student to photograph you and your pets, in your home for free.”
Some of the subjects are found as I am walking down the street or sitting in a coffee shop. If they seem interesting, if the relationship between the owner and the pet excites me, I ask them to pose for me. Surprisingly, many of these strangers from the street contact me, invite me into their homes and the relationship begins. Who are these people who invite a stranger who solicited them over the Internet or on the street into their homes? But then again who am I to have the desire to do it? I am a voyeur who pleasures in the “sneak attack”, wearing the guise of photographer and armed with a camera. They are exhibitionists who want someone to see their private worlds and their most treasured possession their pets.