photography, Western Michigan University

Alex McDonald




Alex McDonald
Art 5480: Photography Workshop
Digital Inkjet prints; 16x24in
series of 15

This work was inspired by the lyric “does it bother anybody else that someone else has your name?” by Twenty One Pilots. This series showcases the diversity and uniqueness of those who claim the name Alex. There are 188,391 people in the U.S. with the first name of Alex, this show showcases 15 of them.

16 thoughts on “Alex McDonald”

  1. I love the concept and how it emphasizes uniqueness and promotes individuality. One critique I have is that I don’t see the purpose of that effect applied to the textures of the images. If it’s just a stylistic choice, I think it could be done more thoroughly. Otherwise, after reading the description my attention is drawn to that effect in attempt to relate the two when they aren’t related.

  2. I really enjoy these series of photos.I especially like the second one. The effect on the picture almost looks like a painting. I think the way her black shirt blends into the texture of the background. The dull colors add a mysterious, sad affect. That may have not been the idea behind it, but it looks good.

  3. While I don’t really understand the effect, I do think it was applied very well and creates an intriguing texture. I’m curious as to whether you included a self portrait in the series as well?

  4. I think that your idea is really interesting and strong and it is definitely interesting to see the result. However, I think it would be interesting to show a little bit more about these people through their portraits and how they are different. Also, what is the texture for?

  5. I am really interested in how you achieved this affect. Was it down by hand or in a digital format. It gives the images extra texture and depth. They almost look like you waxed over the top of them when transferring the images to wood or something.

  6. The effect holds no meaning in the lyric of the song from what I understand, so it seems unnecessary in my opinion. That being said, it’s not so off putting that you can’t still appreciate the intent of the photos. The lighting in the pictures worked well with the effect.

  7. I think this is a really funny and interesting idea. And it could go on nearly infinitely! This work could say a lot about the demographic that chooses this name and about nicknames people choose for themselves as well. I do agree with what others have said about the technique you used. Though it is a beautiful affect, I don’t think it is adding anything to the concept and makes me think, until I read your statement, that something else entirely different was happening.

  8. I like that the people look comfortable in front of the camera and the portraits carry individuality. The here images above are all uniform in the way the sitter is posed, however the first image slightly deviates from the other two images with how his head is positioned. For he series is it important to keep every model in the exact same position? Seeing the last two women in the same stance and angle is effective because their body language still suggests uniqueness. Overall these images are uniform and it would be interesting to see all 15 shown together.

  9. The theme that you are working from is interesting, especially when you start to research more about names and their relationship to the people that have them. In this case, I feel like these images would be a lot stronger with the overlay texture. The texture itself is distracting from the portraits and doesn’t really convey with the theme that you are trying to present. Overall great idea and looking forward to seeing more images.

  10. Interesting concept! However you are trying to portray how ‘diverse’ these people are who have the name Alex- yet they all look like white, middle to upper class high school students….. maybe try to put them in different settings to emphasize their differences, or try to find Alexs with a different age, race, ability, social identity, etc.

  11. The addition of the filter/texture on the photos adds a lot to the theme of the project. I’m happy that they are not just “nice portraits” whereas you have made them a little abstract to play on the theme. I am not named Alex, but looking at these images over and over creates a thought process of names and ownership over names. I think you have achieved your purpose of provoking a thought.

  12. Im very intrigued by the look of these images. Was there a purpose for the special features on the images? Like olivia said I’d like to see if you can push the envelope a little and diversify these images but there is something that draws my eye about the exact composition of the people. It almost doesn’t seem like real images.

  13. Great concept! The texture you gave these photos is very interesting. The faces look like they are poking out of a fog – I definitely like how they are clearer than the rest of the body. Gives your pictures depth. Well done!

  14. These are very interesting photos! Did you integrate photography with portrait drawing? love to hear more about what techniques you used in creating these photos.

  15. This is such an interesting topic! It definitely challenges those beliefs that people with the same name have similar personalities. I have always wondered if people with my name are similar to me in any way. I’d love to see all of the pictures you took for this! and maybe would be nice to include some personal bio for each person? Just a thought.

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