Sunday, April 6, 2008

About the project

The title "This Is Their Place" is a play on Brigham Young's famous phrase "This is the place"[wikipedia], as stated when he first saw the Great Salt Lake Valley.

The idea behind the project is to create portrait/interview sessions of locals who wish to share the story of their own place of significance, be it a positive or a negative association: The place where a marriage proposal was accepted; The place where love was lost; The place where someone found God; The last place one's stolen car was parked; Where someone won the lottery; Where someone was struck by lighting; and so on.

As a relative newcomer to Salt Lake City I started this project as a way to meet new people, see some interesting places and share those experiences with others.

Qualifications for participation

My guidelines for agreeing to a location are: The location should be within the Salt Lake Valley; No specific location can be used for more than one profile; The location must be publicly-accessible (preferably free).

Participants must be of legal age of consent, those not of age must be accompanied by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

How it works

Interested participants will respond to a series of interview questions before their photo shoot is scheduled. Questions asked of all participants include:

  • Occupation/employer (optional)
  • What is your place?
  • Why is this place special to you?
  • What do you enjoy most about Salt Lake City?
  • What do you dislike about Salt Lake City?
  • Do you have any additional comments about living here?

The subject and I will then meet at their place and after a model release is signed I'll take a series of environmental portraits. Despite Q&A being done beforehand, during the photo shoot I'll also talk with the subject to learn more details about them and their place and will ask a unique question specific to each participant after the portrait session.

Finally I process 6 images from the photo shoot and combine those with the text of the Q&A to create a profile that is published to this blog. I then schedule a meeting time to deliver a CD-ROM with all the photos taken during a participant's shoot, which they are free to publish or print for any personal use. Participants wishing to publish their photos for any commercial use should contact me for permission first.

For more information or to participate contact me at yourplace [at]


- mike

Calanan Photography