being social, documenting it

I've posted black and white social photography several times before, and it's something that I'm still very much interested in. It seems that this time each year, the social calendar starts to fill rapidly, which continues at an accelerated pace until the end of January - or even the end of summer in some cases. Having attended several of these calendar-crowding events already, I have quite a bit of visual documentation of people in the night of Melbourne.

Andrew is the brother of one of my divine housemates, and he was staying with us while visiting from Adelaide. I took this photo at our friend's house party late on Saturday night, when Andrew was evidently intoxicated enough to pose with little inhibition. Thank goodness! What a photo!

Speaking of housemates, here they both are with Andrew's lovely friend Craig (also known as Creg). It's a wonderfully animated moment - the kind that were rarely captured before camera phones became ubiquitous. Those moments that you look at in days following the event and wonder, What was going on here? Why is Shasta doing that to Craig? Why does Craig have that expression? What does Megan think at this point? While the digital photo revolution means that we see more of these moments captured, it is something else to see them captured on beautiful film, with a good camera and with composition that doesn't recall the work of a three-year-old.

The family photo is a time-honoured tradition whereby members of the same clan pose with their loveliest faces on display so that their image, as a family, will be on record for future generations to treasure. If you take into account alcohol and a group of siblings that are awkward (Imogen), spacey (Liam) and excessively modest (Portia), then you don't really get a conventional family portrait. The thing is, those personality traits I just attributed to each subject, and which kind of ruin the photo, are also some of the most wonderful, endearing things about this irresistible group of siblings. I love you guys! And I love this photo. It's got character by the truckload, and isn't that the point of portraiture?

We took another photo that was much better, but it was so much worse. It was boring.

Like the dancefloor image above, this is another pretty standard scene - people talking, people drinking - but there's a lovely symmetry here and again, it's full of character. This particular film has been giving me a lot of trouble lately, hence the smudging and scratching (particularly that lethal-looking tear on Laird's neck), but let's just say it adds to the authenticity of the image and accept it for what it is. And smugly revel in the fact that an iPhone app would never do this.

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