MICHAEL A SHAPIRO

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Caffetto's Cafe

Pre Ramble

As a project, Caffetto's Cafe allowed me to indulge both of my two generally conflicting ways of making photos, concentration on form and on content. By that I mean, simply, that in some photos, the emphasis is on light or shape, and in others, it's the person being photographed who dominates. Caffetto, the place, presented specific challenges, one of which was the light. Outside in the afternoon, the sun and subsequent shadows were an issue. Inside, especially the large back room, the only light was small table lamps and, as became apparent, the soft glow from computer screens.

The other challenge was, as usual in Minneapolis, the owner's negative attitude toward photography. This proved to be the major barrier and end of the project after one year of shooting. Luckily, during that year, many of the clientel were creatives and receptive to being photographed.

Caffetto's Cafe grew out of a larger project, Time Off, but soon developed into its own entity, as I spent more and more time with the range of fascinating people, many of whom were cafe regulars. I've posted a representative selection of photographs from my year at Caffetto's Cafe.