|"Dinner with Karin & Barry, Auburn, Maine" (2010)|
Maine-based photographer, co-founder and member of the Bakery Photographic Collective Tanja Hollander recently began a complex and worldwide adventure called "Are you really my friend?: The Facebook Portrait Project" in order to examine "how we define friendship and who we let into our private yet very public online lives" through the social terrain of online media.
|"Ben Waxman, Washington, DC" (2011)|
The Project began with 626 facebook friends, and has since grown as she continues to travel to her friends' homes revealing intimate portraits of her "real friends". She keeps the website updated in a blog format, chronicling in between shoots a Cambodian pig roast in Gray, Maine, late nights in New Orleans during Jazz Fest, the consequences of Matisse buying a portrait at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, as well as letters written in support of a pay-what-you-can sale.
"What started out as a personal documentary on friendship and environmental portraiture has turned into an exploration of American culture, relationships, generosity and compassion, family structure, community building, story telling and meal sharing, the economy and class, our relationship to technology & travel in the 21st century, social networking, memory, and the history of the portrait. Following in the footsteps of the FSA photographers and Robert Frank she has out to see America and to record how our society uses photography, the portrait social media to create and define our existence."(*)
|"J. Nordberg & Pamela Albanese with Fluffita the cat, Los Angeles, California" (2010)|
|"Nell, Peter & Deb Whitney, Portland, Maine" (2010)|
|"Emma Hollander, Boston, Massachusetts" (2010)|
Still very much in its birth, the project has already been awarded a Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, and is sponsored by Color Services (Needham, MA) and any individual who takes part in one of her fundraising efforts.
Tanja also encourages anyone she can to "like" the facebook page in order to spread the influence.