Wednesday, January 09, 2013

found: Intimacy... In Your Fridge

When I think of the word intimacy a flood of images rush to my head. A couple sharing a gentle kiss, two friends sharing their deepest darkest secrets late into the night, a hug, a touch, an exchange of words, a sparkling connection between two people.

For New York based photographer Stephanie de Rouge, it all started with a fascination for big cities and the people who live in them. Observing them in their element; how they work, interact, walk, and mourn. The inner workings of what makes people tick.

From there she started out with a series that documented various types of people in one of their most private spaces, the bedroom. Only to find out that "building walls don't talk". It lacked the intimacy she was so desperately yearning for. Until one day when she was shooting a client in their home, opened their refrigerator, and she realized that's where the answers were hiding.

My approach was quite simple: make an appointment for a portrait shoot and once the shoot is over, and without my subject being aware of my project, ask them permission to complete the human portrait with a portrait of their refrigerator…. Oddly enough, for the first time in three years of shooting this project, I’ve been refused to access numerous fridges. As if the mayonnaise and the chicken leftovers found in a fridge could be more intimate than a bedroom.
From there, the next question quickly arose: Could the fridge be the mirror of the soul?

Since launching the In Your Fridge series, she's opened more than 45 fridges throughout New York and Paris and captured a different side of the subject's daily life. It's candid, honest, and provides a twist on the idea of portraits. From whole organics, frozen dinners, liquids-only, to dolls, clothes, and love notes.

She hopes to extend the adventure to another 19 megacities in the world, “to complete the map of a playful and poetic universe that murmurs endlessly the secrets of the citizens of the world.”

The full series can be found here on her website.

It just goes to show that a little out-of-the-box thinking can lead you to an entirely new discovery and show you things you've never begun to imagine. (Who knew?!) 

What's in your fridge? What do you think it says about you? (I think I'll go tidy mine now...)


  1. I find the first fridge terribly sad. It is a true reflection of what is going on in that person's life.

    But is this staged, because barbie dolls and clothes in a fridge seem a bit farfetched.

    1. I think if it were staged, it would completely defy the point of the project. The photographer set out with this project in mind, but didn't tell her clients so that the photos would be more authentic. It does seem far-fetched but people most definitely have their quirks!

      (Now I'm curious about the people who didn't let her see inside their fridge:)

  2. This is fascinating...
    I once said that people think about what's on their refrigerators (magnets, photos, etc.) but never thought about what the inside of the fridge might say. Lots of expired food, a few bottles of water and some miscellaneous dairy products are probably what you'd find in mine. It needs a good cleaning.

  3. This is amazing! Although I think keeping dolls in the fridge is a little odd, haha! I'm so curious as to why people wouldn't let her have access - how weird!

  4. This is so fascinating! Now that I think about it, I think the fridge does say so much about a person and it does feel intimate to look in other people's fridges, somehow. I think there are times when I would be proud for a stranger to have a look and other times (when I haven't shopped in awhile, or cleaned it out in a while) I would be a little embarrassed!

  5. This is SO cool! I always like to sneak a peek into people's washrooms and fridges when I visit their homes... good to know I'm not the only one! You always find the best stuff. :)

  6. the contents of a fridge are incredibly intimate! I'd bet that most of the people who refused were women - there's so much judgement around food and how we eat and when, and showing someone your fridge really leaves nowhere to hide.

  7. This is so interesting! Especially the non-edible things people have in their fridges. Well, other than film; that makes total sense to me!!

  8. My fridge is a mess. My life is a mess. There is a correlation there.

  9. This is all very interesting and though provoking. I think the state of the inside of your car has a correlation with the state of your life/mind, as well.

    - tianna :)

  10. This post is so brilliant! Thank you for sharing! :)
    xo TJ

  11. Lovely!
    Nice blog you have dear ♥
    Check out mine sometime if you'd like ♥

  12. I love this. What an interesting take on the "Whats in my *fill in the blank*" trend. Makes em want to look at my fridge in a whole new way.

  13. Love these!! I love taking pictures of the inside of the fridge, too. I think it tells a story :-)