David Plumbob, Straight White Male Middle-Class Master Photographer

CLOSE UP OF PLUMBOB WEARING OLD CLOTHES EVEN THOUGH HE IS RICHER THAN GOD:

PLUMBOB: I had a normal childhood, mansion, servants, you know, the usual. At university, I developed a real passion for photography… well, actually, it was for big boobs. I loved taking photos of big boobs. But I noticed, hey, no one is giving me props for this. I wanted to be up there with all the famous masters, I wanted to be acclaimed!

So, I whipped out my Amex Platinum card and booked myself a one-way ticket to some of the nicest hotels in the poorest countries of the world. It was gruelling for me, working sometimes two or three hours a day, having to mix with all kinds of weird, non-white, non-Western people. God, those fuckers are weird. But they make great subjects! 

What I learned on that first trip is the great skill it takes to remove all humanity from a subject, to make them a stereotype of the “ethnic.” You have to do extreme close ups, make sure it’s really, really unflattering. Exclude anything Western, like, make sure you take their cellphone off them, that is essential. Your goal here is to make a photo that a British Army officer could have taken during 1900 – 1920. Make the subject as powerless and objectified as possible, remove any hint of agency. 

You want to create photos that make the white viewer feel comfortably superior to the subject. You want to create that colonial glow in the viewer so try to get scenes that fit in with that narrative, like “tribal dances” (make sure they take off their Nikes first, lol!) or an old lady petting a yak or a baby with flies all over its face, looking near death. All that good stuff that will win you a photojournalism prize. 

Needless to say, black and white only, on film and preferably on a Leica that costs more than the subject country makes in a year. If you do shoot digital, make sure it’s on some weird old camera no-one else can get and have one of your assistants transfer it all to medium format before making Polaroids which you then display on a Game Boy Advance screen and take photos of that. 

On your Leica. 

In black and white.