Brian Doben Risks It All for PayPal
To take these relatively mundane moments and turn them into captivating imagery, Brian needed to make sure his subjects would come alive provided a very narrow set of possibilities. Brian solves this by casting an unexpected type of subject. “The casting was crucial. I tend to work with actors rather than models because I essentially put them in a role and give them a scene,” Brian explains. “I give them license to really work through it within certain parameters that I’m looking for, but to really explore it and let them go outside the box. In the real world, these people may do something that’s slightly imperfect or extremely imperfect, that makes the image perfect.” Giving over that sort of control can be risky for a photographer, but it’s that risk that makes or breaks the project. “If you don’t put the chips on the table you’re never going to really make it,” Brian says.
For Brian, this project wasn’t so different from At Work. It all stems from finding the humanity in every moment and allowing that to speak through. “I am going to people who are imperfect and embracing everything about that, creating an image that is true to who they are and not necessarily in any way trying to box them up and wrap them, and package them out," says Brian. "That is what a lot of advertising is. So I came up with this process that keeps it in line with the same process I use for my series.” Combining these processes, and taking the trusting risk, means that everything comes together to create moments that are true to their representation, familiar to the viewer, and still something great to look at.