I'm not a full-time photographer. Photography is a huge part of what I do, but really I work in education. Every semester there's a new group of students having new experiences. Every day and every experience is new to them. For me it's more like deja vu. I've been here before, but I've still got to document it again.
This is the fourth time I've followed students studying street art in Rome for a weekend. There's always a lot of great visuals with interactions between the students, the art, the architecture, and the locals. Every semester we go to the same neighborhoods. Every semester I tag along to keep things on track and take photos. At this point I can't even remember what photos I've taken in the past.
How do I photograph the same sights in a different way every six months?
This photo is the most recent answer to that question. The building is called the house of Blu. It's an old Coast Guard storage facility that's been taken over by an anarchist squatting group (I sometimes refer to this course as a Roman Ghetto tour). The street artist Blu was commissioned to paint the entire building. It was meant as a way to beautify what used to be a very industrial neighborhood that mostly went ignored by the local government. Now that the neighborhood is becoming more gentrified it serves the secondary purpose of protecting its residents. Destroying the building now wouldn't just scatter those living inside, it would be a destruction of famous art that lends to the character of the community.
The first time I photographed it I focused on the details. The ways Blu incorporated the architecture into the designs of the faces. The broken windows serving as hollow eye sockets. The next time I shot it wide from the perspective of the students. An over-the-shoulder view. This time I used the negative space of the concrete to change the perspective. The final product is something that feels smaller in scale.
The orange tree works as a center-piece, and adds to the playfulness of the design as a mouth takes a bite out of it like a stalk of broccoli.