June Canedo is a Brooklyn-based photographer who was born to Brazilian parents and raised in both America and Brazil. Her recent work is a contemporary take on the genre of portraiture through the medium of film photography. Working in series, she attempts to bring her personal experiences, the subject, and the audience together. Here’s one she shot last summer on hot sands of South Carolina.
“These particular photographs were taken earlier this year during my last trip to South Carolina, where my parents migrated in the mid ‘90s. The series reflects on the strangeness of my southern experience. Known to many as the ‘Redneck Riviera’, the peculiar hilarity of Myrtle Beach is well-deserving of its own story. When my parents began to plan their move back to Brazil this year, I started reconsidering how I felt about ‘home’. I can never romanticise Myrtle Beach, and nostalgia isn’t exactly the way to describe it either. To me it is somewhere in between The Virgin Suicides, Gummo, Fast times at Ridgemont High, and The Waterboy. I still don’t know if it was me who understood something they didn’t or vice-versa.”
“My favourite time of the day to photograph on the beach is when then sun is directly above the subject. The way the light hits every surface on their body is probably the most intriguing for me. You can see every single curve, indention, and detail.”
“Men in the South are often seen exuding this idea of masculinity, through the way they walk, talk, and dress. I found these guys just sitting by each other playing in the ocean and they looked so innocent and almost child-like. I am sure they weren’t thinking at all of how others may be perceiving them or whether anyone was even looking their way. And although their friends were laughing and pointed when I asked if I could take a photo of them exactly the way they were, which probably added to the experience, they managed to bulk up just before I snapped the photo.”
“Taking photos of Southerners can be difficult at times. Often they are hesitant and want to know exactly why I want to take their photo. My answer is mostly, if not always, “because I think you make an interesting subject” or “because I am a photographer and I think you are beautiful.” This results in either a stern “No”, followed by a chuckle, or a warm experience for both myself and my subject. When photographing children I always make sure to ask their parents first and for this photo it took so much probing (from their end) that I nearly gave up and wished them a lovely day instead. “Why would you want to photograph them and not the other children?”; “Where are these going and who is going to see them?”; “Are they for you or for something else?”; “Who are you?” – These are the types of questions I have learned to find answers to on the spot (their family and friends acting as the panel right behind them) and Southerners are usually the toughest to convince. This photo was definitely the hardest to get.”
“I spotted her hat from a mile away.”
Earlier this year, Lucky Prawn hosted the Australian launch of June’s first self-published photobook Brazilian Girls, which is now available to buy online. June’s will be working on her second book Bike Week next spring, documenting the motorcycle rally that happens each year in Myrtle Beach, and plans to release it mid summer 2015. To see more of June’s work visit: junecanedo.com