Faces of Community is a project I worked on about this time last year. It was a project I was working on both to practice portraiture with instant film, but also to document the diverse people that make up a little community in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.
The people pictured live together in a building in Chicago. The Chelsea Hotel is a 10 story building that originally served as a hotel. It has since taken many shapes and forms and is currently the home of roughly 400 people who chose to live and work together to provide community outreaches in their neighborhood. Everyone who lives in the community has a job but they do not bring home a paycheck. In return all their needs are provided for by the community. Room and board, meals, all the life necessities and even some extras. The community makes money through a roofing and supply company that is largely staffed by community members. This allows for other members to work at the outreaches in Uptown, a variety of shelters, and other community oriented projects.
What a strange and wonderful way to live. Sharing burdens, joys, and all of lifes tender moments with people that become an extended family to you because you live in such a different way, and in such close quarters. It’s not for everyone but I found such an interest in the people that it is for.
The community is comprised of a variety of people from all walks of life. People from every side of the spectrum and I wanted to show that in a straight forward way. A quick portrait seemed very fitting for this. Each person that sat for me had their photograph taken just once. I chose to use The Impossible Project’s PX 100 Silvershade film (in beta). I thought the film was beautiful and timeless. I chose instant film because of the quirks that I associate with it. Like all of us, it’s not perfect but the imperfections are part of the beauty and the allure of each photograph and each person. I thought that was fitting.
You can see more photos of this project on my website - xoazuree.com . Just go to Polaroids>Faces of Community.