“Pretty in Pink”
Third Place – Magazine/Editorial
“I always liked this photo, and had it in my portfolio. But last year during a portfolio review with John Keatley, he keyed in on it. It was at that moment I became aware that maybe I had a style or approach that I should pursue.”
ASMP: Can you provide some background on your winning photo?
Meryl Schenker: I was the photographer for a section of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper called Neighbors. I volunteered for this year-long assignment, which involved going to a different neighborhood each week and defining its character through photography, because I love finding stories on my own. This photo was created for a Neighbors piece on the suburb of Blue Ridge, an affluent corner of Seattle. Blue Ridge has no downtown or stores — it was described in the article as “a big cul-de-sac” — so it was particularly challenging.
I was driving around, saw the pink house and car, and thought, there has to be a story there. Honestly, it was so long ago, but my recollection is I knocked on the door, introduced myself and found out the story.
One day she jokingly asked him to paint the house pink to match the car, and much to her surprise, he did. Then they started painting their cars to match the house! I probably made an appointment with them to come back and take their photo at a later date.
ASMP: What was your inspiration for taking this photo?
MS: Look at that house!!
ASMP: What type of setting inspires you the most?
MS: Interacting with real people on location.
ASMP: Is there anything unique about your style or approach?
MS: I don’t really think so. I am just honest with people. People say they see humor in my photos, which is a great honor.
ASMP: Was there anything unique about the type of lighting you used for this image or series?
MS: It’s just natural light.
ASMP: How long have you been shooting this type of photography?
MS: 25 years.
ASMP: What other photographers’ or artists’ work inspires you?
MS: Sally Mann, Dan Winters and Timothy Archibald are a few among many.
ASMP: When did you join ASMP and what do you find most valuable about your membership?
MS: I have been involved in ASMP since my early days as a photography student in San Francisco. I appreciate the learning opportunities, especially about business, and that there is an organization looking out for my interests. I am especially hopeful about the future of ASMP now that Tom Kennedy is at the helm.