Looking at portfolios from Critical Mass 2011…
Los Angeles photographer, Bootsy Holler, is a commercial, editorial and fine art photographer who has been shooting professionally and exhibiting for more than a 15 years. Her portraits of musicians, actors, and people in general are always approached with an intuitive and personal style. It’s her fine art work, that allows her to explore memory, family, and the way we live.
Bootsy submitted a project to Critical Mass where she has found a way to go back in time and participate in her family photographs by photographing herself in similar era clothing and pose, making room for herself in photographs from decades past. The series, Visitor, is a fantasy we would all wish to experience, to pay a visit to those we loved, or wanted to know.
I am the keeper of all my family’s photos, old and new. I grew up in a close-knit family, which was lost to divorce and I knew that the family I yearned for would never happen again until I had my own. As a photographer, I notice that the feeling of loss and disconnect reoccurs in my work and I’ve found that often my images reveal something about family and/or loneliness. And as I grow older, now married with a child, I cherish these family photographs more and more. I’ve often wondered what it might be like to experience the frozen moments in my family photographs and be connected once again to those I love. My project, “Visitor”, has allowed me to step back in time when my perception of the world was innocent and filled with possibility.
My goal with “Visitor” is to reinterpret my intimate family snapshots, explore time, and blur boundaries. I created a look driven by the era of each original photograph, pulling a wardrobe from a collection of clothing that I inherited from my grandmother, who was a seamstress and created many of these garments. Using Photoshop, I’ve placed myself into each world I want to revisit, to connect with family, some of whom I never knew.
In my efforts to be authentic to the original photograph, I’ve matched the format and lens of the original image: some soft grain, brown tones or blown out whites to help stay true to the old, authentic vintage feeling of each picture.
Through the magic of digital photography, I have placed myself into each original image, “shot” at an impossible time of my own creation across generations; as a whole, each is an artifact that lets me connect the family that fell apart. When I reflect on my “visits” with my relatives, I once again feel part of a family history and legacy that is unbroken.