With a collection of vintage cameras that would impress even Andy Warhol, Jodi Bates definitely has "options" when it comes to how she sees the world (or through which lens). In 2011, Bates challenged herself to a 52-week project, with the goal of shooting using her varied arsenal of cameras. Thus her project began: utilizing her collection of instant, medium format, toy, SLR's, rangefinders, and other cameras in a weekly commitment to documentation and artistic expression.
While the project started as an experiment and means of learning how to utilize obsolete equipment, it quickly shifted as Bates found her own narrative voice behind the lens, becoming equal part journey and visual journal.
Bates selected one camera per week, in a analog interpretation of the usually-digital "Project 365" style photo projects, citing that the creative process should be organic and flow naturally. Bates states: "when you try to tame [creativity], it becomes fleeting. A week seems like a good amount of time to allow myself the ability to see a beautiful moment and capture it."
The "52 Cameras Project" was completed January 1, 2012. Bates is quoted as saying she feels "naked" leaving the house without a camera around her neck or in her bag; this book is the fruit of her labor: a year's worth of memories, approximately 70 rolls of film, countless trips to the camera supply store, and ultimately, a completed body of work spanning over 1,000 images over the course of one year, all from 52 unique cameras.
--Rhienna Renee Guedry
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