As a writer, John would spend his days polishing a draft of his latest book and then he’d step down to the shore each night to enjoy the glorious sunsets over Sebago Lake.
One night, just for fun, he cut a crude alligator mask into a beer box, stuck it on his head, and took a self-timed picture as the sun was going down. The resulting silhouette image was so unexpected and captivated in its way, John was inspired to do more.
And so John gathered some recycled cardboard from the island dump and began making one cutout a night. When complete, John’s cutouts are crude and rough, often duct taped together from multiple pieces. But the outline is all that matters.
At sunset, he has a small window of time to capture his image and so he moves quickly, shooting picture after picture, moving back and forth from the camera to the shot, adjusting each time to achieve the desired result.
Not a trained photographer, John has worked as a Creative Director for the TV industry as well as a screenwriter, an actor, set designer and musician. As a child, John’s dream was to be a cartoonist and he sees his Sunset Selfies as single-frame cartoons, with the captions complimenting the images in often surprising and humorous ways.
“So much of creativity is done on line. As a writer, I spend way too much time looking at my screen. So it’s fun to step away from all that for a little while, get down on the ground, draw something, cut it out with scissors, carry it outside, set it up, pose with it and see what I come up with,” John says.
“My hope is that kids will make their own. Get away from the computer, squint into the sun and create their own magic. As I’ve seen, there are whole new worlds waiting to come to life.”
You can find the complete Sunset Selfies collection on Facebook (facebook.com/sunsetselfies) or on Instagram (@sunsetselfie)