“Vermont” was taken the morning after two friends’ wedding. The previous night some other friends and I had camped out near an enormous cow pasture. They were still asleep, and the fog we had driven in the night before hadn’t lifted. It was warm in September, and all I could hear were cows. I felt isolated and a little vulnerable – weddings are for couples, and I was by myself. But it also felt a little ridiculous to feel sorry for myself in the middle of a cow field.
I stripped to my underwear because it was warm out and I wanted to run around. I had no tripod, so I hung the camera from a tree branch and set the timer. Should I hide in the grass? How close do I need to be? Should I look at the camera? I repeated this until I ran out of film. I had taken self-portraits before, but they had always been inside, in a much more controlled environment. This time, the picture, the actual act of taking the picture, seemed natural and in tune with the environment and mood I was in.
Nicholas Gaffney lives in Brooklyn, NY and received an MFA in Photography at Pratt Institute. He is an instructor of photography at the Children’s Aid Society at the Manhattan Center for Science and Math in NYC. He has been teaching since 1990 and his work has been in exhibitions at Pratt Institute and NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts.