For my series, Wait Watchers, I set up a camera in a public area and photograph the scene as I perform mundane tasks while strangers pass by me. I then examine the images to see if any of the passersby had a critical or questioning element in their face or body language. I consider my photographs a social experiment and I reverse the gaze back on to the stranger and place the viewer in the position of being a passive witness to a moment in time.
I place the camera on a tripod and take hundreds of photographs. The resulting images capture the gazer in a Cartier-Bresson, microsecond moment where the shutter, the scene, my actions and their body language align and are frozen on the frame. While I do not know what they are thinking, the gazer appears to be visually troubled by my presence. I present the photographic evidence to the world and allow the viewer to choose their stance.
Haley Morris-Cafiero holds a BA in Photography and a BFA in Ceramics from University of North Florida and a MFA in Art from University of Arizona. She is an Associate Professor and Area Head of the MFA and BFA Photography programs at Memphis College of Art. Her series of photographs, Wait Watchers, has been featured in over 40 articles all over the world and she has appeared on CBS This Morning and Huffington Post Live to discuss her photographs. She was a nominee for the 2014 Prix Pictet and a finalist for the Renaissance Prize.
Artist’s Website: haleymorriscafiero.com