The Daydreamers Project

The Daydreamers project is a photographic collection of people daydreaming. At first, my only intention was to create a small series that would make people smile when they saw it. I knew it would involve people and bright colors, but nothing more.

The actual idea came to me one day when I was cleaning my apartment and suddenly realized I was smiling because of some random thought that made my heart beat faster, and I wondered if people would agree to close their eyes in front of my camera and think about their most beautiful treasures. So, one day I went to my studio with a friend who helped me paint the backgrounds and then called a bunch of my friends, asking them if they could drop by for a portrait. When they arrived, one by one, I asked them to close their eyes and think of whatever made them smile that day.

It was a weird and deeply emotional experience – I was looking at my friends in a way I never had before. It was like watching people meditate, trying to calm themselves, trying to reach that place inside where the good things are to be found, where the fear is gone. They looked close to naked—they looked like new born children smiling in their sleep.

I was hoping to photograph 50 people, pick the best 15 images, and post them on my website. So the next day I posted a message on my Facebook page, inviting both friends and random strangers to come to my studio. A lot more people than I expected showed up, and I realized I could never pick the best 15 images. I loved them all—they were all small, shiny proof of people being good and happy for a moment.

A friend then told me "you should try photographing 1000 people." I laughed, but then I thought "why not?" And before I even worried about how I would find these hundreds of people, they just started coming. The people who had already been photographed would post their photos on Facebook, and other people would see them and express their intention to join. So in only two months, I had photographed over 500 people. I never chose my subjects, and I never rejected anyone. Whoever showed up was more than welcome.

Somewhere down the road I realized this was not a photographic project anymore—it was just a collection of the kind of people I always wanted to surround myself with – positive, active, open minded, brave (it takes a lot of courage to close your eyes in front of a stranger with a camera and think your most intimate thoughts. I did it myself just to see what my guests were experiencing, and it was not easy).

To sum it up, I somehow felt that these were the kind of people one might need if one wanted to change this world into a better place. So, this project is more about people than photography, and more about their beautiful dreams, their moments of vulnerability—of being human I guess.

The Daydreamers project is still under development at Alexandra's studio in Bucharest. You can email her at contact@alexunu.ro if you'd like to get involved!

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