Data + Design Project

Family Portraits: Reunited Using Skype Video

Monday 06.11.2012 , Posted by
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In these highly mobile times, it’s often difficult to collect the whole family group together for a traditional family portrait. In Singapore, where these portraits are regularly taken at a studio, but where many members of the family are now living in other countries, this tradition is becoming harder and harder to practice. How to remedy the situation? New York based artist John Clang had an idea for how to bring families back together using modern technology we already use to keep connected: Skype.

Clang, originally from Singapore himself, tested his idea first with his own family, having them call him on Skype and then projecting their image on a wall. He then posed with the family as if they were in the room with him and then captured an image of the combined group. No photo trickery needed to be used, this was just a matter of snapping an image.

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Now Clang has created a series of images titled Be Here Now, capturing projected families and their international members in countries around the world. He connected with his migratory subjects through recommendations from friends, embassies and the internet, and then traveled to meet with them and do a Skype video call with their family back home. In an ever more transitory society, it’s a wonderful and entertaining way to preserve life’s fleeting family memories. For more of this imaginative photographers work, see johnclang.com.

nytimes

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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