Haley Morris-Cafiero: Wait Watchers
Whether we care to admit it, most of us care what other people think. We move through life trying to avoid stares or judgement, ing the distain of strangers or the displeasure of friends. Photographer Halley Morris-Cafiero bravely explores the idea of being an object of judgement with her series, Wait Watchers.
Haley received her BFA in Ceramics and BA in Photography from the University of North Florida and her MFA in Art from the University of Arizona. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee where she is the Director of the MFA Program and the Head of Photography at Memphis College of Art. She is a national member of the A.I.R. Gallery was named a “FotoFest Stand Out” by Manfred Zollner, Editor of fotoMAGAZIN.
For my series, Wait Watchers, I set up a camera in a heavy-traffic, public area. I consider my work a social experiment and I attempt to photograph the reactions of a diverse pool of passersby. I seek out places that are beautifully lit, allow for an interesting composition and, if possible, set up a scene that references ideal feminine beauty and societal expectations. I put the camera on a tripod or bench, in full view of the by-passing gazer, set the focus and exposure and take photographs of myself doing everyday tasks (eating ice cream, talking on the phone, etc.) using a self-timer and hope to capture a facial expression of a passing stranger. The images capture the gazer in a microsecond moment where they, for unknowable reasons, have a look on their face that questions my presence. Whether they are questioning my position in front of the lens or questioning my body size, the gazer appears to be visually troubled that I am in front of them.