“I was told I probably couldn’t take any ‘cool’ portraits with it, and this made me start to wonder what I actually could do with it,” he said. “I started thinking of the professional business and family portraiture from the 70s and 80s (Sears, Olan Mills, etc), and having worked in a photo lab years ago that had a ‘back room’ where all the old work was stored, I’d seen plenty of it. I thought it was funny, that at the time they were made, these portraits were considered acceptable as good portraiture.”
The Portland photographer has acquired a huge assortment of vintage clothes to help establish the look and is constantly on the hunt for new props he thinks will make a good photo.
“I always want to find those glasses that the nuclear engineer back in 1982 would have used while he was standing there shifting levers,” he told Wired.
Augspurger stays away from professional models, instead photographing friends who don’t mind looking goofy and are unaccustomed to posing for the camera.