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Color Coded Comfort Food: „Wardrobe Snacks“ by Kelsey McClellan and Michelle Maguire

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A while ago, we came across young photographer Kelsey McClellan (@kelseyemc), and we got very excited about her Wardrobe Snacks series she did together with Michelle Maguire (@pandahandler). They describe their series as a depiction of Zen-like moments – and that’s what it is: people in perfect harmony with their snacks.

Where do you live and what is it like?
KM: I live in San Francisco, California. I moved here two years ago from Columbus, Ohio and I’m still getting used to it. Everything is new – the fog (known as Karl), the big hills, the pastel buildings, the plants and birds (parrots!) and the weather (always mild, slightly chilly). It is beautiful and has been so interesting to get to know.
MM: I live in Columbus, Ohio. It’s flat! And full of great people.

How did you get started on Wardrobe Snacks?
KM: Michelle and I have been collaborating on projects for several years now. Since we live almost 3,000 miles apart now we are always planning our shoots ahead of time so we can make them happen when do get together. Before we shot Wardrobe Snacks part of the idea was to shoot food without relying on a table surface, and we thought against the body could be the perfect set.
MM: This series was inspired by diners lacking the luxury of being seated at a table: my stepdad who rests his sandwich on his thigh in between bites (hell with a plate!) while he blasts an action movie on his TV; a commuter cramped up on a crowded bus retrieving an item from a bag or pocket; a lunch-breaker on a park bench eating from her lap. They’re informal — perhaps even a bit awkward — spaces as far as eating is concerned, yet the diners always appear to be comfortable and perfectly satisfied with their chosen snack, almost zen-like. Wardrobe Snacks is about details I’ve observed in those small moments, further enhanced by a stylized, monochromatic world.

Which photographers inspire you?
KM: Oh man, so many! Grant Cornett, Thomas Prior, Thomas Albdorf, Jack Davison, Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis, Jake Stangel, Kyle Johnson, Caroline Tompkins, Roxana Azar, David Brandon Geeting, Daniel Shea, Mark Peckmezian, Cait Oppermann, Bryan Schutmaat, Joanna McClure, Meredith Jenks and Mark Mahaney… to name a few :)
MM: So many from Kelsey’s list, plus Martin Parr, Stephen Shore, Lee Friedlander, Ed Ruscha, Malick Sidibé, June Kim, Andrew Bush, Chantal Anderson, Brian Flaherty, Joel Meyerowitz, Alec Soth, Alex Webb, Larry Sultan…

What do you shoot with? Analog or digital?
KM: All of my studio/job work is shot on my Canon 5d mk2, and with either a 50mm or 100mm lens. All of the topiary shots have been taken on my iPhone since I’m usually just walking around my neighborhood in the Outer Sunset on a weekend when I see them. I also always have a little 35mm film camera in my bag, an Olympus Stylus.

Do you edit your photos? What do you use?
KM: Yes, I edit a bit in Camera Raw before working in Photoshop. Since my camera is pretty old it has A LOT of sensor spots, so I spend a long time just cleaning up dust spots. I mainly clean, correct color, and sharpen. For Wardrobe Snacks I spent a lot of time making sure the skin tones were consistent across each image, which was tricky since the spaces are all so saturated which can throw off white balance. For shots on my iPhone I just do real quick brightness/saturation adjustments.

What would you be if you were not a photographer?
KM: I daydream about this often… Probably a flower arranger/yoga instructor/baker.
MM: I would have a walk-up sandwich window for people to visit during their lunch breaks.

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Credits for Wardrobe Snacks:
Photography by Kelsey McClellan (@kelseyemc)
Art Direction / Styling by Michelle Maguire (@pandahandler)

For more information on their project, visit their website

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