Phoenix-born photographer Bryson Rand is an army brat, and I suspect moving around a lot while he was growing up has had an effect on his work. He freezes disparate moments of suspense, often seeming to focus on interpersonal relationships and family structure. It’s hard to define exactly what makes his pictures so good or what holds them together, except that they are in the middle of the moment, on the way to a conclusion, lurching and sputtering wildly, and at the same time they are silent, like a plane stalling out in mid-air. Rand is currently pursuing an MFA at Yale University, and we recently talked to him about his work.
What holds your pictures together?
“I try to avoid assigning myself projects when I am making work. I have worked that way in the past and it ended up making me feel constrained. I found myself not photographing certain subject matter because it wouldn’t ‘fit‘ with the other images. By allowing myself to photograph with more freedom, the scope of the work has opened up and become more disparate. While the pictures are each a reaction to my environment and circumstances, the common thread of the work stems more from an emotional state than an idea.”
When is the moment to take a photo?
“The moment is different every time I take a photo. Sometimes the moment reveals itself, sometimes it has to be forced, and sometimes it appears without being recognized. When I am taking pictures I remain aware of my surroundings and hope that I am ready with my camera when the time is right. I try to follow my intuition and I’m always striving for the rare instances when all the elements come together and I can see the picture as it’s being made.”
Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Matthew Leifheit is an independent writer, curator, and photographer based in New York City.