In a world where we sometimes feel small and humble, it is often difficult to express in words or images how you feel in that moment. Cincinnati- based photographer, Paul Armstrong, figured out a way to do so…by shrinking himself. Visually.
From Plain Old ‘Selfies’ to Hilarious Works of Art
Paul began dabbling in photography when he found himself in a beard growing contest with a group of friends. Since all the friends lives in various parts of the country, to prove that the contestants were still growing their beard, each person was responsible for posting a selfie online. The contest ran for four months. Posting daily selfies began to get dull for Paul, and so he started getting creative with his images. He was shocked when his images started gaining attention. “I couldn’t understand why anyone would like them,” Paul admits. “I thought it was crazy. The pictures were ridiculous, but I discovered a whole new medium where I could explore ways to tell silly, ridiculous and sometimes meaningful stories.”
The Series, “Big Me, Little Me”
In an effort to show his gratitude and humility for the over 200,000 views he had received on Flickr, the series, “Big Me, Little Me” was born. Paul wanted to somehow thank the people who had viewed his images. He felt humbled and small, so he demonstrated his feelings in the photograph below:
He then began to think of new ways to juxtapose his mini self into the real world conceptually, to show “how I often felt insignificant and overwhelmed,” and then the opposite, “Big Me,” who often times felt “out of place, clumsy, and lumbering,” says Paul. Mostly, it was just about him playing around.
Using his approach to life as part of his inspiration, Paul tries to see the world with child-like wonder and absurdity. He wants to maintain the fearless curiosity of a child and explore the world using his imagination. Children don’t worry about if things are “true or silly or popular or marketable,” so Paul challenges himself to try and garner some of that mentality by playing and having fun.
If someone looks at one of my photos and laughs, is amused, intrigued or moved to an emotion, then I feel I’ve done something worthwhile.
CREDITS: All photographs by Paul Armstrong are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.[via @Flickr Blog]