I Am Not a Stranger: Portraits by Séan Alonzo Harris posed a series of questions: who are the people we see everyday, and how do we get to know them? What does it mean to call a place home? And what if that place is Waterville, Maine? The project, consisting of over fifty portraits that feature more than eighty-five people, was displayed at the Colby Museum, Common Street Arts, and fourteen satellite locations throughout the city of Waterville in the fall of 2019.
Harris photographed his subjects in a corner made of two painted backdrops positioned to form a tight angle. This studio set was inspired by a similar arrangement that the photographer Irving Penn (1917–2009) used to photograph celebrities. When the exhibition opened the backdrops were installed at the Colby Museum and Common Street Arts, with an invitation to viewers to pose for their own portraits. Dozens of people shared their corner snapshots through Instagram, all of which can be viewed here.
To contribute your own photographs to the I Am Not a Stranger archive, contact Olivia Fountain at firstname.lastname@example.org.