Photographer Captures People And Their Bedrooms To Show Their Different Ways Of Living (30 New Pics) Interview With Artist
The bedroom is probably the most personal and intimate space where one can be the truest version of oneself. It is a place to relax from the outside world, the spot where we start and end the day. Maybe that's why it's also so intriguing to have a glimpse of other people's bedrooms. It's like getting to know their real personalities in a way.
Being interested and passionate about "poetic resonance of ordinary subjects", photographer Barbara Peacock travels the USA to take intimate and anthropological pictures of average Americans in their bedrooms. These photographs are part of a project called "American Bedroom" that shows the many different living conditions and lifestyles that make up the American experience. After taking a look at these candid photographs, we invite you to check out Barbara's older photos that we previously shared here.
Doris, Age 97
"My life has been dramatic! My three children are wonderful. My life couldn’t be better."
Overland Park, Kansas
Barbara shared with Bored Panda that the idea of photographing people in their rooms was born in 2016: "I woke up early one morning and looked out my bedroom window to look at my garden. When I turned around I saw my husband wrapped up in blankets, bathed in beautiful golden light with his snore mask on. I had to chuckle at the dichotomy of beauty and humor. Then I thought about how I would complete the scene. It was then I realized that what we have on our side tables and around the room tells a distinct and personal story."
The photographer began to think about taking pictures of people in their bedrooms across the whole country. Most of Barbara's friends said that it was a very interesting concept. She started by photographing a few friends and some interesting people she met.
Freddy, Age 67
"My bed is my time machine. I’m a traveler in my dreams."
Faith, Age 9
"Everything is gone. My mom keeps saying: "keep the faith Faith.""
South Oroville, California
It was not that easy to find people who would be willing to open their bedroom doors and be completely honest and vulnerable. Yet, to Barbara's surprise, there are plenty who would.
"When I plan a trip to a place in the US, I make an announcement on Facebook and Instagram. Many folks will reach out and say they are willing, or they have a friend, relative or neighbor. From there the contacts grow. Also, I place ads on Craigslist and I print up cards with info about the project and my contact info. I leave these cards around during my travels. I also make it a point to go to smaller towns so I can visit local diners and small shops where everyone knows everyone."
Barbara photographs everyone who wants to be in the project. That’s her rule. "You just never know how it will turn out and I meet the most interesting and diverting people. Some make me laugh and others tug at my heart and soul for days."
Becky And Dave, Ages 65
"We felt the weight of responsibility for our children for decades. Now we are on our own. Our empty nest has reawakened the joy of freedom we had as youths."
Madrid, New Mexico
The Belfon Family
"Burning the tatter tots, cleaning up messes and getting the kids to school late is just part of life. Blending this big family is the hardest thing I have ever been a part of but the love and support has become the greatest gift and teacher, not just for me but for all of us."
We got curious about how the photographer manages to make people feel comfortable in front of her camera and expose their personal and intimate lives. Barbara shared that she chats with her subjects for a bit before they start. "I'm friendly and not very intimidating so it's usually easy to build a rapport. I make sure they know it is collaboration and it is their portrait as much as it is mine. I never make anyone do anything they don’t want. If my subjects are naked it is because they want to be. For many people, it is a high point in their life to show, in the most honest way possible, who they are. To take off any artifice and reveal their true nature is truly fascinating and often people just come alive."
Dale, Age 48
"I never wanted to be a girl, I just wanted to be a cowboy with red lipstick. Now, far away from Texas and all the religious repression of my youth, I feel powerful and finally free."
East Village, New York
Tuesday, Age 23
"It is in my life-threatening health that I have come into myself. I have already done more living than I ever imagined, way more than I was ever promised. The days when I feel the most pain can easily be filled with laughter and joy because my pleasures have been earned."
The photographer told us that her subjects get very excited when they see their photos in print:
"One transgender gentleman had just finished transitioning and the photograph was empowering for him and his community. When I told him it had been printed in a German magazine he was so proud and excited – I had to track down copies for him and have them shipped over. It was heartwarming. One of the most prominent photos of the 'Jessica' series has been printed in just about every country. The image of her is almost iconic - someone called her youth culture American Goddess. Also, a friend and her young family were one of my first photos of her and every time it is published she is still so excited and we try to get copies."
Lula, Age 97
"I like people, all people. If you are good, I will know."
Rachael, Age 9 And Aeriyna, Age 4
"It’s dangerous here, we need to protect the girls. We have basic dreams, a home with running water and electricity. But, mostly a safe place for the girls to grow up." (Father)
Navajo Reservation, Kayenta, AZ
This project has been going on for 6 years already. It's a very long period that might make it hard for people to keep being inspired. However, for Barbara, it's not like that. "Every time a door opens for me with a new subject I am completely overpowered by the newness, mystery and vulnerability of the scene. There is an aura that hangs in the air the whole time I am shooting. This is a person's life and story to be told and it is a high honor to be the one to tell it so I take it very seriously. Photography is the art form I have chosen and I am always invigorated and reborn over and over by it."
Harry And Alan
"After 27 years together and 4 years of marriage, our closeness has elevated to a point that being together is a total of one, as in one plus one equals one."
The photographer added that the project is almost complete now – it has been 6 years since she took the first photograph and she is currently looking for a publisher for the book.
"It is also my hope to have American Bedroom in museum shows that would travel across the country. That would be the most incredible way to honor all these extraordinary American stories."
Megan, Age 6
"I’m a unicorn and a fairy."
Little Rock, Arkansas
Lucinda, Age 88
"I’m alone now, with my dogs."
Abagail, Age 4
"I’ve got my favorite blanket and kitty sheets. They make me feel happy. I don’t get mad. I’m always going to be nice."
Beaver Crossing, Nebraska
"With the world moving ever so fast, these apples of my eye remind me to slow down, see the beauty in all things. They are the light."
Camille, Age 32 And Ashley, Age 31
Camille: "People have this idea that dreams are for the young, but my biggest dreams have only begun to come true now, in my third decade. It’s as though I finally gave myself permission to chase everything unabashedly, from what I believe family looks like to the sounds I want to share with the world. The world is opening up to me more every day."
Ashley: "If you told me 5 years ago that I would be a touring musician, married to my amazing and beautiful wife, and living happily in Portland, I would have cried tears of happiness. Never give up the fight for your version of happiness in this life. You won’t know the treasures that lie ahead until you’re there living them. With our powers combined, we can do anything."
Claire And Tee
"Hold on tight. Hold on to one another. Show those you love how much you love them. If you think of someone, send them a note, let them know. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, just today."
Jeanine, Age 64
"Life is good. Paradise will rise from the ashes and I will be part of that."
Kasey, Age 7
"My bedroom is a trailer. I sleep here with my puppy, only not when it’s too hot."
Slab City, California
Chloe, Age 18
"I am considered by many to be an old soul. I feel an overwhelming sense of freedom when I am locked away in my bedroom in front of my drum set expressing the part of me I can’t often communicate in words."
Lake Worth, Florida
Jordan, Age 62
"I was a rebel all my life, now I’m just an old man."
Frances, Age 31
"Right now I am the age that my brother was when he died. My space is full of reminders of love...love that is present, love that is changed and love that I’m hopeful for. I wish I could tell you about every object in this room because each one is significant, especially the tribute to him on the shelf behind me."
Andrew, Age 31
"Since I left traditional society I have never been happier. I just live one day at a time and don’t worry about punching a time clock 9-5."
Sisters Katie, Age 27 And Janie, Age 25
Katie: "I would take a bullet for this beautiful woman! I can’t believe we used to hate each other. It’s never too late to be best friends. I love her."
Janie: "Despite being raised by the same parents our upbringing was vastly different and she had it a lot harder. I wish I could have changed things but I’ve always looked up to her courage and perseverance. I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world. She is my best friend."
Tom, Age 86
"I have lived in the Carnival all my life and I have loved it. I wouldn’t change a thing except that I’m going blind making it difficult to bring up my 13-year-old daughter."
Jane Doe, Age 51
"There’s a story on my back, It’s written in ink and carved in stone. It is my life, it keeps me strong, I’m a Meme, a Mom, a Sister and a Daughter, But the story on my back is like no other, I’ve lived through Rape, Suicide, stalking and now Murder. The evidence is in, will the jury see? Or will they take my life from me?"
Cody, Age 27
"My life is all about expanding consciousness. Traveling in my van "Gaia" allows me to share her beauty and the hard work it took to create her. It brings forth a perspective that you should always chase your dreams if you truly want something, no matter how hard."
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Andy And Db, Ages 53 And 52
"Beauty, heartbreak, grit and humor. Intersecting spirals, it’s tough building relationships. I love it, I hate it and then I love it again."