Monday, August 31, 2015

You’ve Never Seen Group Portraits Like These in the 1970s and '80s

Neal Slavin has a unique perspective on human relations. As a photographer who’s specialized in group portraiture for four decades, he has captured the strange, fascinating, and often humorous sociological phenomena that occur when people pose for a photograph together.

“My work is about that communal thing that happens between people when they get together and they put on their public persona as opposed to their private persona. Little things come out as they stand in a formation that has to do with who they are and what they want to show people looking at the photo,” he said. “If you have some guy standing next to another guy, one guy will actually jockey for position by putting his shoulder in front of the other guy just to gain that little edge. It's fascinating. Some people recede. Some come forward. It's the little minutia that makes the pictures.”

Dancing couples at Butlins Holiday Camp

Debutantes at the Berkley Hotel in London

Channel Swimming Association, Dover, Kent, 1984

The interesting collection of artists from Zulu Records, taken at the Liverpool Docks.

Marina Women’s Bowling Club, Eastbourne, Sussex, 1984

Night Club Greeters in London

Gary Owens Society of Girners, Hollywood, California, 1974

A Concorde at Heathrow Airport, Middlesex

New York Stock Exchange, New York, 1987

The Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner Sales Convention, New York

Capitol Wrestling Association, Washington, DC, 1974

Women's League of Health and Beauty in Belmont, Surrey, UK

Bickley School of Dancing, Bromley, Kent, 1984

Fencers Club, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Washington, DC, 1987

The custodial staff at Stonehenge

The crew of the H.M.S. Intreped in Portsmouth Harbor, Hampshire

The Hatton Garden Snooker Center in Holborn, UK

Sisters of the Redemptoristine Convent, Chudleigh, Devon, 1983

The Hanging Committee at the Royal Academy in London

The Delorean Car Owners Association, Washington, DC, 1988

Coney Island Polar Bear Club, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York

Santa’s Helpers, Tastee Diner, Silver Springs, Maryland

Miss USA Pageant, New York, 1973

Freestate Fillies, hostesses at Freestate Raceway, Laurel, 1987

Lady Dorothy Circle, Companions of the Forest of America, Jamaica, New York, 1973

Hazardous Emergency Response Team, Washington, DC, 1987

Performers at Hanger House, Washington, DC, 1987

The Camera Club, Great Newport Street, London, 1984

International Twins Association, Holiday Inn, Springfield, Illinois, 1973

Society for Photographic Education, Rochester, New York, 1974

The lifeguards of Wild World Amusement Park, Largo

Tai Kwon Do instructors, Washington, DC, 1987

The Wheelmen, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 1974

Male voice choir, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Holloway, London, 1983

Nassau Model Train Club, Baldwin, 1989

Great Danes Breeders Association, the home of the treasurer, Ulcombe, Kent, 1984

Bingo Club of the St Petersburg Shuffleboard and Duplicate Bridge Club, St Petersburg, Florida, 1974

Aircraft restoration technicians, the National Air & Space Museum’s Paul E. Garber Facility, Maryland, 1987

Pugs, New York

Rubber-boat fishermen, Eugene, Ore.

(Photos © Neal Slavin)

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