Haley Morris-Cafiero is a photographer based in Memphis. She uses film and digital rangefinders to capture her images. The unaltered images are printed using digital process. Haley is very proficient at all historic photographic processes including wet plate, daguerreotype, platinum printing, salt and gum bichromate.
Haley received her MFA in Art from the University of Arizona and her BFA in Ceramics and BA in Photography from University of North Florida. She is currently an Associate Professor and Head of the Photography Department at Memphis College of Art.
For my series, Wait Watchers, I set up a camera in a heavy-traffic, public area and take hundreds of photographs as I perform mundane, everyday tasks as people pass by me. I then examine the images to see if any of the passersby had a critical or questioning element in their face or in their body language. I consider my photographs a social experiment and I travel the world in an attempt to photograph the reactions of a diverse pool of passersby.
I seek out places that are beautifully lit, allow for an interesting composition and, if possible, set up a scene that references ideal feminine beauty and societal expectations. I put the camera on a tripod, bench or with an assistant, in full view of the by-passing gazer, set the focus and exposure and take hundreds of photographs.
The images capture the gazer in a Cartier-Bresson, microsecond moment where the shutter, the scene, my actions and their body language align and are presented to the viewer. While I do not know what they are thinking, the gazer appears to be visually troubled that I am in front of them.
Something to Weigh
I have always had a hard time controlling my weight. My uncontrollable exterior has determined my place in society and I have often felt left out and awkward. For this series, I photograph myself in socially engaged spaces to examine how my body fits into society. I choose compositions within social sites: restaurants, stores, pools and other places of leisure. I attempt to juxtapose my place in the scene with issues that contribute to my weight gain.