After connecting at an opening gallery reception, we talked with Jordan Cameron about a series of photos that she took while visiting her hometown in rural NH; a place where her love of photography began and a place with a very different landscape compared to where she lives now in Philly.
Q: Did you have a specific vision or intention behind these photos?
A: The photos from this trip were originally intended to serve primarily as documentation. Most of these subjects are scenes I have been shooting for years, since I was a child, serving as test subjects as I honed my skills. Because I am not there as often as I once was, and due to potential changes in the future of the properties shown, I knew this trip may be the last opportunity for me to capture some of the locations that meant so much to me growing up.
Q: How did you feel coming back to your hometown and shooting a different landscape? Did you enjoy it or do you prefer shooting urban areas?
A: I enjoy both kinds of landscapes in different ways; I have been and am drawn to urban life and street photography because so much is always changing from day to day, even hour to hour. I know there will always be something unique to spot and capture. The rural landscapes do not usually vary much, but I find every time I come back after being away I am bringing a new set of eyes to such deeply familiar places, and I want to capture that as best as I can for posterity.
Q: If you have one, which photo out of this series is your favorite?
A: The one of the chapel at the end of the road. I took extra care to minimize the light leaks that are so often characteristic of a Holga, and I was thrilled that the vignetting came out exactly the way I had hoped. If you’re familiar with Pet Sematary, the road I’m standing on, in rural Maine, is not dissimilar to the road that inspired Stephen King. He actually owns the property on the right side of this image, across from my grandparents’ house, which is on the left. I am interested in expressions of eeriness, and I think this photo encapsulates that energy really well. It almost feels threatening.
Q: There are several photos of a graveyard. What about it drew you to take photos of it?
A: Since I was a child I have been drawn to graveyards, and this graveyard in particular, which is in the front yard of my grandparents’ house. I spent a lot of time playing in this yard when I was younger, and I still feel a pull to cemeteries. I am drawn to ideas of haunting, perception, and consciousness; the way the paranormal is inextricably linked to our own minds. Graveyards are an effective visual representation of those liminal ideas which are so often difficult to express.
Q: What kind of camera and film did you use to create these photos?
A: I used my favorite camera, my Minolta X-370, for all the 35mm photos; the color photos are made with an expired roll of Fujicolor Super HQ 200 (that I actually found at my great-grandparents’ house, which is featured in some of the black and white photos). And the black and white photos are made with Ilford HP5 Plus 400. The handful of 120 photos I made with my Holga 120N using Kodak Portra 400.
Q: Is there something that you took a photo of or an approach you had when taking these images that you hope to continue in your future work?
A: I often find myself exploring loneliness in my work, particularly urban loneliness and the unique type of isolation that happens in cities, despite/because of being surrounded by so many people at all times. Even photography itself has always been a very individual activity for me—it’s not an experience I often share with others—so I strive to express the conditions of the act itself in the things I observe and capture, which are best afforded to me when I am alone. In a rural area such as the White Mountains, I find particularly illustrative scenes of isolation in the landscape, with its comparatively minimal influence of people. I hope that these diametrically opposed environments that have shaped me will inform my work as I continue to explore and express this theme.