You may have seen the Big White Box portraits mentioned on Facebook in posts about the Atlanta Rock and Roll Monster Bash or related to the Atlanta Roller Girls. And I am sure you have asked yourself, “What is the ‘Big White Box’?” I’ll tell you.
Richard Avedon has a beautiful series of portraits called “In The American West”. The portraits are not models, or celebrities, or politicians. They are regular people who Avedon met while traveling the American west. When I first saw those portraits I was struck by the honesty, the depth, and the simple emotion of the people – not to mention the wonderful cast of characters that Avedon managed to photograph. I saw those photos and was inspired to try something like that, too.
I later saw a behind the scenes photo of how he accomplished that great look. He did with a simple white backdrop tacked to the shade side of a building. I pondered and thought until my ponderer was all pondered out, and I came up with a way I could do something similar. And the Big White Box portrait project was born.
Working with concepts inspired by the brilliant Tinker Tubes PDF that has floated around the DIY photographer world for a long time, I devised a – well, a box that I covered on the sides, top, and back with inexpensive white nylon. That made a big white box with an even light all the way around.
With the Big White Box complete, I debuted it at the 2007 Atlanta Rock and Roll Monster Bash,and it was an immediate hit. Since that time I have taken the Big White Box to a wedding, more Atlanta Roller Derby matches than I can recall, and the 2008 Monster Bash.
I was busy organizing model and car shoots at the 2009-2011 Monster Bashes, but I am thrilled to bring the Big White Box portrait project back for the 2012 Atlanta Rock and Roll Monster Bash. If I don’t see you there, perhaps you’ll come to the June 2012 Atlanta Roller Girls bout, or, if you prefer, I can come to your wedding, car show, or event.