Amazon Primed by Noah Kalina
Most of the images that photographer Noah Kalina posts on his popular Tumblr feed are relatively random — portraits of friends, excerpts from his commercial shoots, behind-the-scenes tidbits. But every once in awhile, any of his million-plus followers who are paying attention will notice him initiating or adding to a recurring series, like the one in which he always documents, while traveling, the view from the window of his temporary room. These mini-projects represent his most personal work, the ideas he has and then pursues in his spare time, for no other reason than to challenge himself creatively and/or keep himself busy between shoots. Amazon Primed, his latest such endeavor, showed up on his Tumblr in late February in the form of an image depicting three external hard drives and an ethernet switch. “It was winter, it was so cold I could barely do anything outside, and I just wanted to spend a couple of days taking pictures,” Kalina explains. “I looked around and realized I order a lot of shit from Amazon, so I thought, let’s photograph these products.”
For nearly two months — beginning the day after he posted a wintry image of his new home studio in rural upstate New York, where Amazon Prime is the easiest way to procure just about anything — Kalina did just that, documenting everything from Jambox speakers to dishwashing detergent to fish oil capsules in ordinary domestic scenes that appeared straightforward yet artful. “The stuff that I get is so seemingly random and disparate, rather than specific to someone who would buy one thing over and over, like shoes,” he notes. “On Amazon you can get literally anything, so I could literally shoot just about anything.” Adding to the conceit was his fascination with the site’s affiliate links program, and the idea that if he added them to every entry, he could earn money the more his posts were re-blogged across Tumblr. (His grand total after two months? $120.)
Amazon Primed is currently on hiatus — Kalina plans to restart it, possibly with guest contributors, as soon as he builds up enough new acquisitions to shoot — but you can see some of his favorite selections from it below, then watch for updates by following his main Tumblr.