Before 2020, remote portraiture was still an experiment few people played with. But when the pandemic hit, taking photos remotely became a thing. While it’s much more common nowadays, remote portrait projects can still surprise and awe us.
This is exactly what photographer Tim Dunk did with his latest project. Based in the UK, he took photos of people in all 50 US states in one day. Tim told us a bit about the project and we bring you the story behind it, as well as the wonderful portraits he took.
Tim specializes in remote photography, and remote portraiture is his main line of work. I was fascinated to learn this and I find it a testament to today’s world and technological advancements. His latest remote project is the first of its kind, at least to our knowledge. To complete it, Tim used Shutter App and did all the shoots in a single day. Even though the shoots were done remotely, Tim wanted to show what no AI or robot can replace and replicate – a human-to-human connection.
“Every participant was a friend of a friend, or a friend of a friend of a friend,” Tim tells DIYP. After some planning, he took a 13-hour period to connect to his subjects. He would spend between three and ten minutes with them, and then record their connection through a photo. Since it was all a little chaotic, Tim actually ended up with three double bookings. So, he got to meet a bonus of three people, and we got to enjoy three extra photos. But hey, I’m not complaining.
Tim’s process involves getting on a video call with his clients and chatting for a bit to form a connection. That’s just as you’d do with regular, in-person photo shoots. His models need to show him around a bit so he can choose the best spot for the photo. He guides them through any additional setup, posing, and composition, encourages them to be themselves… And then presses the shutter remotely.
As far as the US project goes, Tim’s only regret is not being able to spend more time with each person and make notes on them all. But there were so many things to think about, including the lighting – and a day only lasts 24 hours. Tim reveals that the logistics of these shoots were quite stressful, but it was all worth it.
“As someone who’s never set foot on American soil, I’m completely in awe of the fact I was able to spend time with someone in every single state in a day,” Tim concludes. “I’m so very grateful to all the wonderful people who gave me a few minutes of their Sunday.”