Patterns & The Collar

There are probably a dozen things that prompted me to start exploring this project. Those are sometimes extremely difficult to inventory. Even with projects where that final thing driving one towards whatever could be considered a photographic project might seem really simple and even singular, in many cases it's probably a lot of different things.


A few years ago I agreed to do a small one-off gig. Part of it was making some pictures of that heavy steel collar seen in many pictures here, especially in the Fragments side project. Of course I saw a few things that I found interesting and curious while making those but I never really did anything with it. A lot of the stuff I had to make pictures of I blew out on eBay to increase my profit a bit. I'm not a big eBay kind of person. I stick it up there for a buy now price and if something doesn't sell I just don't bother. Result being hat collar just sat around for a while.


There are two distinct things that prompted me to actually start experimenting on this project. Of the 4,276 props, wardrobe, belts, and shoes laying around the studio space the two things almost everyone played with constantly were that collar and one of the riding crops.

I would say about half of the people I've ended up working with and a few of my longer-term collaborators was completely random prompted by them playing with that collar. Case in point, Christina just happened to be doing something completely different and afterwards was… You guessed it playing with that collar. So I asked her if she wanted to make a few pictures way back when I first started playing with the black/white project.


A pattern that has been very consistent with that particular prop. as opposed to other collars used here and there, is a sequence of expression and gesture that happens every single time to varying degrees. Interest, handling of it like a piece of jewelry, then some degree of apprehension between turning the key and pulling it out.


Immediately after that there's some sort of relaxation that's almost meditative along with handling it like jewelry again. These kinds of patterns and playing with them as well as the juxtaposition of them with each other and contexts are what I'm working on.

Here's the funny thing. Given my curiosity it's hard to believe I've never actually asked why anyone likes playing with that prop. The very next time I have the opportunity it's the first thing I'm going to do. Why? Two reasons; First is I am curious about everything. Second, there's a very good chance it will give me some ideas I've not even considered yet.

End Notes

All photos made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55mm XF. Processing via Lightroom CC and VSCO FILM07 TRIX-320.