Scenes from Black Friday – a photo contest

November 23, 2011 at 8:34 am | Posted in photography | 47 Comments
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Call for Entries:

Every year, Black Friday rings in the yearly holiday shopping season, with hundreds of thousands of people getting up before sunrise, determined to find the best bargains and deals. When the doors are unlocked, the stores are besieged by their own customers. Picture Black Friday is a photojournalism project that aims to revisit and analyze a combination of forces — a worsening economy, financial desperation, excitement, fear, and a distinctly American cultural tradition — to consume the most amount of stuff possible, particularly starting on the morning after Thanksgiving. Photographers around the US are invited to share their take on Black Friday. It can be done in the form of a photo project, or a single image itself. The winner’s work will be displayed this time next year in the Chelsea area of NYC.

Images should be sent in by December 5th to pictures@pictureblackfriday.org.

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47 Comments »

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  1. The JC Penney’s exterior shot is very Edward Hopper-ian.

  2. I love the one of the couple sleeping outside the bed.

  3. There is something very zombie-esque about the picture from inside the store.

  4. Fun idea … though Black Friday this year sure seemed to take a turn for the violent and disgraceful…

    I do wonder if any of the images will portray this side of the “holiday.”

  5. On netbook the scene with tents and the one with feet fit together giving a superb single and enduring image of the determination and the mad rush

  6. The idea that people would be camping outside of a store just to get there early enough to “out-buy” others is, at least to me, completely ludicrous.

    For that reason, I think that photo is the saddest one out of all of these…

    Really great post…hopefully it makes a few people think about why they do the things they do on that chaotic day.

  7. I hope you win!
    Thank you for depicting so clearly why I can’t stand shopping ….The last photo could be titled, “Check your humanity at the door please”…

  8. Love the one of the feet outside the door. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  9. I hate sales shopping all the pushing and jostling. The photo of everyone shoved up against the door is my idea of a nightmare! The pictures are very good though. Good luck.

  10. Gee, after seeing some pretty crazy stuff the other day, your pictures, which btw are awesome, look so tame. Seriously, I can’t even fathom camping out in front of a department store waiting for their doors to open. Crazy.

    http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  11. Can anybody tell me what “Black Friday” means? Where did the name come from?

    Ronnie

    • It is called Black Friday because that single day of shopping madness could (theoretically) put retailers “in the black” for the season – a term from back when accounting was done by hand in black ink for positive balances and red ink for negative.

  12. This is why I stay at home on Black Friday, haha.

  13. Great post. Makes me happy, yet again, that I do not participate in the black friday hysteria, because the way people can behave in those situations is shocking. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  14. nice shots. my Black Friday was quite similar :) crazy people, messy stores and flying balloons!

    -grace

  15. These are great shots. I could really feel the anticipation in your pictures. I wish you the best in winning and please update us what happens!

  16. I can honestly say that I have never camped out to go shopping.

  17. The last one reminds me of my Black Friday this year. It was my first experience with Black Friday, and I was working in the shoe department. Fortunatly, didn’t come in until 5am, but it still looked like a bomb went off.

  18. I did a Black Friday blog myself this week, only it doesn’t actually show it in a flattering light. Your pictures are great but in many parts of the country this year it turned into a very sad and embarrassing occasion.

  19. Cool POV pics!

    I’m from England and have only just heard about Black Friday recently. I cannot believe the scenes I saw!

    I even saw a few arguments/fights on YouTube.

    ‘Serious Sales’ Ha!

  20. If that’s JCPenny’s I can only imagine what Walmart looked like.

  21. I’ve never understood the allure of Black Friday myself, camping on concrete seems not very comfortable.

  22. Wow, if I didn’t know this was on Black Friday, I would have thought this is Boxing Day. This is the first year that I’m actually drawn into the Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales, but I didn’t have the time to visit the states. Did all my shopping online with free shipping!

    I can really start to love Black Fridays :P

  23. I love the one with all of the clothes. A perfect example of the chaos. I think Black Friday is so funny because people are spending more money “saving” than they would have originally spent.

    • So true! One of my favorite saying is “You can go broke saving money!”

  24. hmmm blackfriday

  25. I just realized this. The only reason that its the day after Thanksgiving, is because everyone is full of food and so they have to find a way for all of the “stay-at-home-moms” to burn those extra calories. So they run around , finding sales. Then it turned into a national event. The rest is history.

  26. I think the idea of a black Friday photo contest is great!

    These are the Norman Rockwell type images of our era. Of our America as it is now. I like the stories the pictures tell. I am just not too keen on the story line.
    Having worked in retail for many years, I just cringe every time I see black Friday pictures. Most of the time it’s just people shopping for what they consider a good deal. The news reports and the posts on youtube of people behaving like animals, thankfully, are not the norm.

    I would not be caught in line to buy a stick of gum on black Friday, which now has spilled over to Thursday. Thanksgiving day. There is nothing that could be discounted enough for me to take time away from my Thanksgiving or wait in line the day after with the other sheeple to give someone my hard earned money for some trinket.

  27. Spent black friday writing by the water. Best deal in town :)

    • I agree! Creative activities beat shopping any day.

  28. Love the camping picture. A college student in my town camped out in front of Best Buy from Monday on to be first in line for all the deals. Wonder what his professors thought when they saw him on TV?

  29. This clinches it. You Americans really are crazy!

  30. I wish someone had gotten some shots of the real underside of Black Friday – you know, like that lady with the pepper spray. The idea behind the day is good, but the execution and state of nature it creates is just horrible. Contest idea = awesome!

  31. Black Friday made people crazy !!

  32. Lovely blog!Really enjoyed it x

  33. People are crazy! :o!

  34. I wonder if anyone’s going to take pictures of people e-shopping? That’s how I spent my black Fri.

  35. i LOVE the last shot. the clothes look spent as if they’re tired too after its all said and done. moreover i think about how discarded they look and you just know that there are some ‘have-nots’ somewhere in the world who could really uses those clothes and would cherish them.

  36. If you don´t need it, don´t but it

  37. The people crowding the door remind me of zombies. Always will. It’s creepy

  38. did someone bring a couch with them?

  39. […] Scenes from Black Friday Sunshine+DesignFollow Photography Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, And Quit All The Whining Uncrunched Kananaskis Wildlife: Winter Stags Christopher Martin Photography […]

  40. Black Friday rocks as hard as the Black Plague, doesn’t it?

  41. black friday mmmmmmm!

  42. American anomie, at its finest and most depraved.


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