Photography - Copia # 16 | Artopia


A Closer Look

This picture, like all the photos in the Copia series, is candid, meaning it isn't posed. Brian Ulrich shot the series using a waist-level viewfinder so that he did not have to hold the camera up to his face. This technique makes it less obvious that a picture is being taken. Do you think the girl in the picture knows she is being photographed? How can you tell? Whom do you think the arms on the left side of the photo belong to? Does anyone in the picture seem to be aware of the camera?

About the Media

Brian Ulrich began his Copia series of photographs after the attacks of September 11, 2001 when, he says, "Citizens were encouraged to take to the malls to boost the U.S. economy through shopping, therefore equating consumerism with patriotism." This picture is number 16 in a series of 70 photographs taken in malls, grocery stores, commercial warehouses, and other shopping destinations. All the pictures were shot with a medium-format camera, using available light.

About the Artist

Brian Ulrich lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He teaches photography at Columbia College and Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. His photographs have been exhibited widely and are included in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. He says of his work, "I have always been interested in the little details that make up the routines and rituals of modern life."

Write About It

  • Make a list of what you see in the photograph.
  • How does the photographer use the elements and principles of design?
  • What is your opinion of the photograph? How does it make you feel?