Photos by Erin Albrecht
For this week's Mahal, I caught up with photo extraordinaire, Erin Albrecht. Unlike most photographers, Erin never shoots parties, fashion shows, or other events. Instead, she photographs moments from her own life, because she's practically always doing something cool outside. Although you'll never see Erin photographing your 13-year-old cousin's Bar Mitzvah, you can see her never-ending photography stream at her site, Public Fruit. Earlier this week, Erin sent me her favorite photos and spoke to me about the method and motivation behind her photography.
How did you get your photographs to look crispy?
Erin Albrecht: For a while, I was only allowing myself to shoot with an 85 millimeter lens, which tends to produce pretty crisp images.
Is it true that you do not shoot for anyone but yourself?
No one makes me do it.
How would you summarize your editing process?
I shoot almost only on film. The hardest part is always making the selections. I tend to lose focus pretty quickly, and I refuse to limit myself to one particular style or look, so I guess my photos are all over the place, but I like that. There are enough rules to follow in life. With photography, I can do whatever I want.
Has giving birth to your son changed your photographic eye at all?
Maybe. His curiosity is pretty contagious, although maybe I infected him with it.
Do you have any themes in mind when you go out shooting?
I am attracted to awkwardness. I am often feeling pretty anxious, so I think I'm looking for company there, but I'm also searching for beauty. I like to try to find it in unexpected places, like the look on someone's face right before he sneezes or my dad's feet, which are shaped like trapezoids. There's too much weird in the world to be fixated on standard perceptions of beauty, but I like beautiful and boring things too. I like to take pictures of everything.
What's your advice to other people trying to create cool photographs?
I like photographs that show me something I haven't noticed yet.
What is public fruit?
I grew up in Minnesota and attended many pot luck meals at church, which were breeding grounds for various fruit salads. The ambrosia salad would sit there for hours, and as a kid I felt like I could see the bacteria multiplying at the bottom of the dish. I would also never eat the fruit garnish on the edge of the plate—I swear one time my orange slice had a booger on it. That's public fruit.
I wouldn't want to eat that either. Thanks for telling us about your process, Erin! Good luck capturing more public fruit.