PORTLAND, Maine — Lauren Kennedy sets traps for the chipmunks in her backyard. Peanuts are Kennedy’s best bait. The wily rodents can’t resist the promise of a free meal. As soon as the little buggers go for the goodies — snap! — she’s got them.
They don’t know how lucky they are.
Instead of springing a deadly contraption, Kennedy is only snapping pictures, trapping the critters in adorable, ingenious digital photographs. The vibrant images may be cutesy but Kennedy employs serious wit, and oodles of patience, in her outdoor photographic ambushes.
Along with the peanuts, she constructs tiny, often comical, sets for her furry collaborators. There’s shopping carts full of food, a lawn chair with an American flag, a half eaten watermelon.
Lying on her stomach, eye to the camera with a wide-angle lens, Kennedy waits for the chipmunks to wander into the frame and eat. Sometimes, it’s a long wait. They’ve grown to trust Kennedy but they’re still wild animals.
The chipmunk photos are a slow-burning project she’s been working on for a few years, just because she enjoys it. Kennedy’s regular line of photographic work includes portraits, magazine stories and babies being born.
Recently, BDN Portland sat down at a coffee shop to talk to Kennedy about her evolving project.
Q: What makes you take pictures?
Kennedy: I like making pictures because it captures a moment in time. With the chipmunk photography, it’s so lighthearted, it’s just a great way to capture a serene, beautiful moment. It’s fun.
Troy R. Bennett
Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.
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