|Photo by Kym Shumsky (Sossusvlei, Namibia)|
The following article first appeared on Apartment 613 on March 27.
Local photographer Kym Shumsky has a talent for making strangers feel comfortable. In her photo-blog Le Mien, she photographed 100 strangers over a 21-month period, culminating in an exhibit and book that raised $2,000 for Operation Rainbow Canada.
“A little while ago, I photographed 100 strangers because I wanted to get better at taking photos,” she writes on TwoShot. “That first project was about gaining perspective. This one is about sharing it.”
In a phone interview with Apartment 613, Shumsky says that her work on Le Mien taught her a lot about taking pictures. However, because she was the only one behind the camera lens, each photo contained only her perspective. ”We have a presence even if we are not in the frame,” she says. Enter TwoShot, which is a conscious attempt to expand her artistic horizons.
So far the project has resulted in three collaborations. The first contains photos that she took with her husband Darcy Cornu, during a trip around the world a few years back. “I had to give examples to get other photographers,” says Shumsky, while describing the series of gorgeous images, such as the photo from Namibia above and Kashmir, India below.
|Photo by Kym Shumsky (Kashmir, India - Kingdom of Leh)|
|Photo by Winter Fedyk - Horses, La Reata|
(Kyle, Saskatchewan) (copyright)
Observing these impressive photographs, like the one on the right, the observer can feel as if they are underneath a massive sky, running through pristine fields. Behind the camera lens, however, it is always necessary to remember the collaborative aspect of the project.
“When you start dealing with people’s passion, you have to have a lot of respect, a lot of patience,” says Shumsky, a native of Winnipeg but now long-term resident of Ottawa. “What I ask from the photographers is that they give me their best work.”
This push for excellent work, combined with being exposed to a multitude of styles, is forcing Shumsky to experiment with new techniques. “I have one (photographer) in the queue who only shoots black and white, and I never shoot black and white,” she tells me. “I am not sure how to present it.”
|Photo by Debra Cowie|
(Art Is In Bakery) (copyright)
Looking forward, Shumsky says that her future shoots will be constrained by the following parameters: “The lighting is the same, the location is the same, the people are the same.”
While the project is still evolving, she can envision eventually putting on another exhibit for charity, which combines her work and those of all the collaborating photographers.
If you are a photographer who would like to participate in this project you can email Kym Shumsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.