The Image: Dylan Vitone, "Photo Shoot"

© Dylan Vitone, from the "Miami Project"

Editor's note: To see the image at a larger size, please click here.

When I was done with the Pittsburgh Project I wanted to photograph a place that was the complete opposite and Miami seemed to fit the bill. I started taking fairly regular trips down there to make photographs. At first I was not super sure what the work was going to be about, but I found myself drawn to the "spectacle" like I often am.

The work became more and more about the heightened sexuality that exists in our society and how culturally we have kind of created a ruse. Photographers work incredibly hard, with big productions, to make what appears to be spontaneous moment. Making love with someone has been replaced with demos on how to light and film home porn. I really did not want the photographs to be judgmental at all. Just record keeping with a little humor.

This picture was a pretty funny experience. There is a photo shoot going on where a clothing designer is making images of her beachwear for a look-book. I happened to just come upon the event and think the photo shows the awkwardness of the whole experience. They were pretty cool to me all things considered. Most of the time when I am photographing anything I look like a amateur. I have a baseball cap on and baggy jeans. So, from their perspective they have some random sweaty guy with a crummy digital camera approach them and ask if he can photograph their bikini photo shoot. (I was using a cheap digital camera because I wanted to have a common look to the images. I did not want them to look super slick. I wanted them to look like they came from the cameras that you so often see at these kind of events from onlookers). They don't know me from John and you can see that in the way they are looking at the camera. I also think they are a little self-aware in the way they are engaging with one another. Everyone looking and judging one another. So you have them self-aware of me and themselves, so you have a whole lot of discomfort happening in this picture. I am pretty sure their look-book images came out beautiful but the behind the scene of this highly constructed moment was rather awkward.

Dylan Vitone