Rise, Shine, and Floss for the Camera

Photographs of people at their most intimate moment: waking up

It’s 7:04 a.m. and your alarm goes off. Do you snooze? Maybe you roll out of bed and do a few jumping jacks. You check your notifications. Maybe you floss, walk your dog, and down a smoothie. Whatever your ritual, chances are it’s your own.
The Chicago-based photographer Kyle LaMere believes its in this moment, before the eye-liner and the jacket is applied, that we reveal the most about ourselves. For his project, As You Are, he’s photographing the a.m. habits of a new person every week. Some of them are professional athletes, some run NGOs, some are media professionals with a manicured social media presence.
“Every day, we are exposed to highlight reels from the daily lives of everyone we know, don’t know, and will never know. We watch their moods change from one status update to the next,” LaMere said. “In order to reconnect with people as they are, I wanted to pull back the curtain on their meticulously curated lives and photograph them in their most intimate environment, their own homes.”
But LaMere goes beyond images, asking each subject the same five questions: What do you wake up thinking about? What’s your morning ritual? How does social media play into your daily life? Are we more connected or disconnected than before? What is most important to you in life?
The answers vary as much as the photographs do; some are earnest and revealing, others less so. But rather than feeling like the images divulge the inner-workings of the subjects, the photographs are distractingly beautiful. Perhaps that’s due to LaMere’s talent—or the ability of his subjects to perform for the camera.