Sara Jamshidi | The Observers

Introducing: The Observers

I, like so many people, am constantly armed with a device that takes photos. Unlike so many people, however, I don’t document everything that I see, eat, or engage with. But what I do find interesting is what people find important enough to record—and how they capture it—be it a sign, a selfie, a building, a banana, or a loved one. 

I started this project, The Observers, inadvertantly, while visiting the typography department at the University of Reading in 2012. I became so engaged with everything around me that I found it possible to abandon the temptations of my camera altogether and even lent it to a friend. I took almost no photos on that trip, but even today I can vividly recall the experience of it. 

What I realized then as never before was how strong the impulse is for people to look at the world through the lenses of their cameras instead of experiencing it and capturing a few important moments. I’m sure many of you have had a similar experience: you go to a concert or a recital and see that half of the audience are watching the event on the small screens of their cameras. The question that remains in my mind is how they remember it in the future. 

Every week, I will post a new photo to The Observers. Some posts are stories, some are merely observational. This project is not about right or wrong, nor is it about looking over people’s shoulders. It’s about seeing the world from another’s point of view and observing the subjects that are being observed. 

May 2013, Ridgefield, Connecticut

September 2014, Connecticut River

February 2012, Easter Egg Hunt, London 

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