Someone I Know: Stuart Pilkington’s project

After gathering more than one hundred photographers Stuart Pilkington asked them to take one picture of somebody they knew

“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/coreya-someone-1.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 1”,
“text”: “© Corey Arnold”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/adamj-someone-2.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 2”,
“text”: “© Adam Jahiel”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/kathleen-someone-3.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 3”,
“text”: “© Kathleen Robbins”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/justinm-someone-4.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 4”,
“text”: “© Justin Maxon”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/harryb-someone-5.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 5”,
“text”: “© Harry Borden”


Many of the photographers from my previous projects such as “The 50 States Project” and “The Chain” participated in “Someone I Know”. I also asked some artists whom I had not worked with before and whose work I admired — many of them are from the United States. A lot of them are second or third generation photographers descended from the likes of William Eggleston and Stephen Shore whose sensibility I rate above any other.

I think my communication with the people involved is what I bring to the table. I am methodical and organized and as positive as I can be so people feel good about taking part. They know when they have to submit their images — I send several reminders mentioning the deadline.

To promote the project, I posted on Twitter and Facebook and created a page for “Someone I Know” so that people could join. The main promotion was done by photographers themselves and this is what brought most of the traffic in — their tweets and posts attracted tens of thousands visitors to the site.

“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/alines-someone-1.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 6”,
“text”: “© Aline Smithson”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/justinjr-someone-2.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 7”,
“text”: “© Justin James Reed”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/elizabeth-someone-3.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 8”,
“text”: “© Elizabeth Fleming”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/susanan-someone-4.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 9”,
“text”: “© Susana Raab ”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/shenw-someone-5.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 10”,
“text”: “© Shen Wei”
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/hinc-someone-6.jpg”,
“alt”: “Someone I Know 11”,
“text”: “© Hin Chua”

Curator’s work

Good communication, the ability to inspire and encourage and an eye for a good image maker are important for a curator. Oh, and a fine beard! My goal has always been to ensure that the photographers involved have a good time and that they have the resources they need easily on hand.

The sequence of photographs enhances the viewer’s experience a lot. The success of many projects (including mine) depends on people, who are taking part in it — they make the concepts work.

If you want to be a photographer, go ahead and have fun! Do it because it makes you happy. Follow the steps of photographers you like and try and try to understand how they do it. Email them and ask whatever you want to know — most people are pretty generous with their knowledge. And then eventually you will become the photographer you always wanted to be.

A great photograph reminds you of something you may have seen before — it just looks familiar. Appreciation begins when you try to go after the same shot — and you realise that it is a lot more complex than it first appears.

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