All Of The Faces: A Photographer’s Journey to Befriend His Facebook

By Alex Wilking
In Culture

Not many people would travel to Australia or Alaska just to take a photo, but St. Louis photographer Corey Woodruff hopes to do just that with his new photo project, “All Of The Faces.”

The premise of the project seems simple enough: Woodruff wants to take portraits of all 747 of his Facebook friends. He is documenting these people with a portable light setup so every shot is identical. He says the idea sparked from a man in Australia who decided to go on a coffee date with every one of his Facebook friends. Woodruff decided to take that idea a step further.

“It’d be neat to see if I could do that with a camera,” Woodruff says.

Em Piro, photo by Corey Woodruff.

Em Piro, photo by Corey Woodruff.

He began last December and has taken about 135 portraits since. He hopes to average about 50 photoshoots a month while working around his own schedule as a professional photographer. The project has yet to interfere with his job, but it does make it hard to pinpoint an exact completion date.

Brian Curran, photo by Corey Woodruff.

Brian Curran, photo by Corey Woodruff.

Woodruff says strategic planning and road trips will be key in reaching people out-of-state, but he’s making plans to travel to places like Melbourne, Australia, to meet up with the faces on his profile page. But it all boils down to travel expenses, which he hopes will come in the form of sponsorships later on down the road. For the time being, the focus has been on photographing friends in and around St. Louis.

AJ Meyer, photo by Corey Woodruff.

AJ Meyer, photo by Corey Woodruff.

Woodruff has also been taking a personal shot for every subject in exchange for their help with his project. He hopes that this two-picture process, combined with the commitment the project requires, will make him a stronger photographer.

“I’m gonna take better photos because I’m interacting with these people,” Woodruff says. “I’m forced to be creative. I’m trying to take cool photos of everybody and not just go through the motions.”

As to what form this project will take, Woodruff says a digital presentation is most likely. He would love to publish the collection as a book but says financial backing will be the deciding factor. Follow Woodruff’s photographic journey on Instagram at @allofthefaces.

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