I first came across Kym Shumsky’s work around two years ago but despite a few Twitter conversations, having mutual friends and working across the street from one another, we had never had the opportunity to meet. When I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago that Kym was launching a new photography project and looking for other photographers to collaborate with I jumped at the chance to both ask her to guest post here and to be one of her collaborators. I’m pleased to say that she agreed to both. Kym and I met and concocted a plan over coffee and while we’re keeping the details under wraps for now, I promise to share the results here when I can. In the meantime, I’m pleased to welcome Kym to Mortal Muses today to share her work and her thoughts on collaboration with us. ~ Debra

The thing about an actual two-shot – the t.v. journalism kind – is that it’s manufactured.  It’s a quick set-up of the interviewer and the interviewee, usually right after the actual talking takes place.  Visually, it’s filler: inserted into the spaces between head shots to keep the audience’s attention.  When you see those frames in the nightly newscast, there’s as good a chance as any that they’re discussing the weather, or how to validate parking in that particular moment.  Definitely not the news.
1 - Burlesque
Photography – the kind involving people in particular – shares a similar need for the manufactured.  Controlling the visual – even as lightly as positioning a cup, or opening a window – are the little things that help provide the raw materials that go into storytelling; words and verbs for the eyes.
2 - Bob's Coffee
Plus, it helps with the talent; well past the awkward first 10 minutes of shooting someone you have never met, conversation had best be going well.  It’s not?  Open the window.  Change the frame.  A change of perspective brings a second opportunity to take that perfect portrait shot.  Or sit your handsome husband next to them, see if he can fix it.
3- Mr Fix It
But what happens when it isn’t just one vision you’re trying to find, but two?  What are they REALLY saying in the two-shot?
4 - W&J
I’ve done this before; three years ago, I asked out loud what it would be like to photograph strangers, and summarily met 100 of them.  Now in the early days of the yet untested TwoShot.ca, what I hope to achieve is in many senses a deconstruction.  If portraiture was the headline news, what I’m looking for is feature material.  And I’m signing up other photographers to make sure I get the right perspectives.  Two photographers, same place, same time.  And at the end of it, a single arrangement of our best shots.  A story as much about the things we are shooting as it is about us.
5- Gang
Because the story happening on the other side of the lens is always just as important.
Photo 6 - Film
Kym Shumsky really is just an amateur photographer with a completely unrelated day job and a blissfully ordinary life.  She is married to an excellent fellow who does not mind being called a light stand, and is pretty much awesome in every other way, too.   She was raised in Winnipeg.