Ready, Aim, Shoot
by Kelly O'Neill
Reception: Sat, Feb 23, 4pm, Sweet Branch
A snapshot traditionally referred to a hunter shooting at an animal by reflex, quickly squeezing the trigger without aiming. However, since the invention of the Kodak Brownie over a hundred years ago it has referred to the spontaneous taking of a picture, usually of family or friends. A snapshot captures a moment in time securing it from the relentless onslaught of progress, forever crystallizing it within the emulsion of a film. That is the essential power of a photographer and their craft, to systematically record and document moments in time that would otherwise slip through the fingers of human perception. It is through a photograph that one remembers not only past friends but also themselves, seeing who they used to be and what they used to think. A photograph tells us as much about the subject as it does about the photographer snapping the shutter; because, while you can photograph anything you cannot photograph everything.
With all cameras, especially film, a photographer is limited in how many frames they have available, should they shoot that fish over there or their friend making a funny face. The conscious, or reflexive, decision to take a snapshot signifies the want of a photographer to catch and keep a fleeting moment of their lives. They want to hunt down their prey, the eternal moment, and keep it as their own; a taxidermy representation of what they once experienced and felt. With these ideas in mind I set out to hunt and shoot my friends; forever in an instant trapped within photographic cages.
All of these pictures were taken on November 17th 2011, in front of Chapel Glen building 803, on the University of Utah campus, on a single roll of film. As friends would come into my room I would quickly rush them out the door and take their picture, no matter what their temperament or hair was doing that day. In this way I was able to capture them and their relation to me, permanently fixing them within the confines of a singular strip of film and twelve individual frames. While these moments no longer exist their memory does and so too does the remembrance of what they meant to me, who they are, and who they have become after the shutter was clicked. As I took aim and shot my friends I not only captured them in a singular moment but I captured myself. In these pictures, on that strip of film, is a moment in time that will never return; but like the mounted head of a deer still looms out forever remembered for what it once was.
I was born and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico were I attended Eldorado High School. I was a hard working student, fourth in my class, and always thought I would go into the sciences. However, during my senior year of high school I found photography and instantly realized my passion for it. Wanting to get out of state, for a change of pace and culture, I decided to attend the University of Utah and study the hobby that was quickly taking over my life, photography. I am currently a sophomore in the College of Fine Arts working to receive my BFA with an emphasis in Photography/ Digital Imaging. I have been featured in several local galleries as well as the University of Utah’s Parent Association calendar for 2012-13. I am thrilled to have this show and am excited to see were photography takes me.
Location: Corinne and Jack Sweet Branch
Contact Information: (801) 594-8651