Beginning in 2007, Jason Travis set out to catch up with old friends, meet a lot of new ones and most especially, photograph the things in their lives that were important enough that they’d lug them around wherever they went. His series of diptychs, called Persona, is a voyeuristic extravaganza, giving us an eye into the pockets and bags of strangers on the streets and allowing us to compare what they find valuable to our own life choices.
For each set of photographs, mostly taken in Atlanta, Travis carefully arranges and photographs the items, from M&Ms and bubblegum to Gameboys and vintage cameras, all in a horizontal rectangle mirroring the portrait above. He shows just as much care for his subjects, giving each a seductively flattering treatment as they stand with confident presence in the narrowly cropped frame.
As well as being highly engaging, the ongoing series does much to debunk a common myth: that women carry far more around with them than men. It would seem, we all like to have our favorite things at hand. See many more in the series on flickr.