Visual Storytelling with a Sense of Self(ie)

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Broken Arrow Photographer Jill Solomon has been in the visual storytelling business since 1997. She draws inspiration for her upcoming show in her warm and quaint studio.

Nothing is more difficult than trying to put your own spin on something that seems to have been done in just about every way imaginable. How do you capture an iconic monument, such as the Eiffel Tower, when its been done in what seems to be a million different ways and angles? You think outside the box, or rather, into it. Broken Arrow photographer Jill Solomon knows this first hand, and has the pictures to prove it.
Jill Solomon will be showcasing “Le Touriste Narcissique” which translates to “The Narcissistic Traveler” beginning on August 2 at the gallery space in the Broken Arrow Historical Museum.  The interactive exhibit is a showcase of the global phenomenon of the selfie from Jill’s most recent trip to Paris.
“ I was thinking, ‘It’s the most photographed place in the world, there will be a lot of people, and a lot of people doing selfies’” she said. “So, I began to capture people taking selfies in front of the iconic places. I was amazed at how it crossed every culture, every religion, every ethnicity and everybody has their own way of taking selfies. I was just mesmerized by it and wondered about these people.”
Jill has just about seen it all since she first picked up a camera in 1997. She is known for her senior pictures, family portraits and work for artists such as Kristin Chenoweth. However, this exhibit has made Jill see her craft, what she calls visual storytelling, in a whole new way.
“People will find themselves wanting to know who the people are in the photograph. It’s not making someone who they’re not, it’s capturing who they are, their essence. It’s not just about the posing; it’s catching them with a look. It’s catching them in their authentic state. “
The interactive display will open August 2 from 6-8 p.m. and is open to the public. The event will run for two weeks.  
Guests will go through the gallery as if visiting and touring Paris themselves. At each stop along the way from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower, they’ll be asked to do something. The objective is to record the experience as you go through the exhibit through various forms, including selfies. As you explore selfies at iconic locations, patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase pictures on various mediums.
“What I do is such a personal thing that I’m grateful for the person that is going to become authentic in front of my camera,” said Jill. “I realize that it’s not easy for people to be on camera, so I recognize that and my philosophy is to meet people where they are. It’s not about forcing them to do anything for the shot. It’s about allowing things to work in where you have them.”
Jill has already received a significant amount of support before the exhibit’s debut. She is hoping with success it will be able to span across different cultures and nations.
 “I have such a support system and people that don’t even know me that are excited about it,” she said. “I’m hoping to grow it. I’m hoping soon to do the Great Wall of China and Italy and expanding on the show in and of itself and to keep it going.”
“Le Touriste Narcissique” will open at the Broken Arrow Historical Museum gallery space August 2 from 6-8 p.m.

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