Jon Crispin's Notebook

Mail Online / Suitcases

Posted in Jon Crispin, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 11/06/2013

The Mail Online ran a nice article about the suitcases and used lots of photographs.  I haven’t had the chance to read the whole piece, and will do so soon, but it looks nice.  Here’s the link.   I never read comments in articles like this since there are so many trolls about, and it can be distracting to read what other people think of the project.  But as Cristine was looking at the story last night she read this one out loud and it really made me laugh on so many levels.

“To jump the queue to photographer fame before learning how to use lights, do what this guy did.”

                                                                                                                  – VegasWeddingPhotographer, Las Vegas, 10/6/2013 9:30

I am not even sure I can break it down, but as the work has received so much attention, I guess I have to acknowledge some level of “fame”.  But the lighting thing is so great as I have never thought of myself as a studio photographer and would admit to not wanting to light these objects as if the were, well …… objects!.  My goal with shooting the cases and their contents was to make the photographs look like what they appear to me in my mind’s eye.  So for clarification, and to help anyone else who also wants to “jump the queue”  I’ll include a photo that Peggy Ross took of me at work.  Two strobes and a couple of big ass soft boxes (thanks Alex!).  Works for me.

So a hearty welcome to all the new subscribers to this site, and thanks to Mail Online for the exposure.


12 Responses

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  1. Dave Clough said, on 12/06/2013 at 6:28 am

    Jon, The first thing that struck me when I first saw your project was how spot-on the lighting was. Keep up the great work!

  2. Molly said, on 12/06/2013 at 8:50 am

    A friend shared this article on FB. I was pleased to tell her that I had been following your photographs, particularly of the suitcases, for a while and share a bit of your work. So glad you are getting more exposure for your wonderful work.

  3. Lisa Gordon said, on 12/06/2013 at 11:12 am

    You can please some of the people, some of the time…
    Just keep doing what you’re doing.
    I think it is wonderful!

  4. tedstrutz said, on 12/06/2013 at 10:40 pm

    Screw that guy… he’s a wedding photographer in Vegas for crying out loud! Peggy’s photo speaks volumes for you.

    Fabulous project you are working on. I read about this work on The Eye of Faith. I’ll check out Kickstarter.

  5. Rex said, on 12/06/2013 at 11:11 pm

    I want to purchase some of those relics and keep them safe… But most of them are going to museums right? The city guide and the newspaper are amazing keepsakes. Great work Jon. P.S. what are you shooting with my good sir?

    • joncrispin said, on 13/06/2013 at 9:34 am

      All the suitcases are in the permanent collection of the New York State Museum which is doing a great job preserving them for all time.

  6. nomayne said, on 13/06/2013 at 12:06 am

    Vegas wedding photographer?!?!? I don’t think he appreciates art and history! Jon, you did a good job presenting the suitcases without any primping and propping. There’s no need for fancy Vegas lights here 😉

  7. John C. Carter said, on 15/06/2013 at 12:43 am

    Wow! So excited to have received a copy of the Mail Online article about the suitcases in my news feed from one of my Facebook friends! I actually know of a distant member of my extended family who was committed to / lived at the Willard Asylum from the early 1930s until her death in 1976. I will definitely be passing a copy of the article to one of her descendants. Thanks so much for your excellent (and very creative) work!

  8. settleandchase said, on 19/06/2013 at 11:06 am

    What an idiot. I find this project and your photographs really fascinating, I wish you every success with it!

  9. Becky Stead said, on 20/06/2013 at 3:30 pm

    These suitcases don’t need a fancy lighting job. The cases and their contents are fascinating enough and the way you lit and shot them is just perfect. Good job, im looking forward to seeing more.

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