By Janet Alexander.
Month of Photography – Los Angeles, otherwise known as MOPLA, began in April 2009 to showcase photography and advance programming to engage the photography community. Brooklyn-based portrait photographer Caroll Taveras makes a special appearance at this year’s event with her on-going Photo Studio Project. “The Photo Studio project idea was something I had been thinking about for years before it actually happened,” Caroll told Resource. Inspired by vintage family photos of her relatives in Colombia, Caroll’s project aims to re-create the tradition of studio portraiture, but with a modern approach that includes using color, 4×5 film and instant film. The Photo Studio Project debuted in Brooklyn the day after President Obama’s first inauguration. “It seemed appropriate for me to start this project marking this ‘new era’. I wanted to make a record of what people looked like during this time,” Caroll says. The Studio Project has since appeared in Chelsea, NY, London–Caroll’s “home away from home”–the summer Olympics in London, and now makes its fifth and first-ever appearance at MOPLA next week. Invited by the Lucie Foundation, Caroll’s Studio Project will be at the 15Twenty space in Hollywood. “With all the interesting characters in the area I’m really looking forward to seeing who will walk through the door and sit for a portrait.” This unpredictability is an essential aspect of Caroll’s project, of which no two instances are ever alike. “It’s always a sort of experiment where ever I set up. Not knowing what to expect.” Participants can purchase a 3.25×4.25 polaroid for $5 or an enlarged print. Caroll’s background in photography, dating back to 1998, consists of long-term, documentary-oriented imagery, so it’s no surprise that when asked what she’ll be doing after MOPLA, she says, “I have just touched the surface setting up the studio in these big cities. I’d like to visit the small towns that inspired the project. So this is a work in progress. There is more to come.” The Photo Studio Project runs through MOPLA from April 7th-13th.