Though filled with dozens of subjects, each photo has an emotional core—the camping collection was inspired by a plastic flashlight Golden had as a kid and recently rediscovered at a thrift store, while the bright orange and yellow housewares came from Lane’s personal collection.
Despite owning a well-equipped photo studio, Golden didn’t have nearly enough gear for the camera photo. To pull off this shot, Golden and Lane had to become event organizers and librarians—the pair asked the Portland photography community to borrow gear for a day, resulting in donations of 400 pieces of kit that needed to be cataloged and a gathering of photographers that turned Golden’s studio into an impromptu photography convention. “It took Kristin and I 14 hours to lay out and photograph,” he says. “We have both learned a lot about what’s possible and what isn’t, how big these things can be compared to the scale of the items.”
The photos have a minimal style, but are really the result of Golden obsessive pursuit of perfectionism. “The scissors were a challenge,” he says. “I did one layout and didn’t like it, and redid it — my assistant thought I was nuts. Still, nothing was weirder than learning an old friend had over 5,000 scissors at his house.”
Golden’s still life series has collected a series of awards and honors that rivals some of the collections he’s photographed and has led to more corporate work, but he is always searching for the next astonishing assortment of esoteric products to photograph. “I shoot stuff I’m interested in and combine that with what I can get a hold of,” he says. “When I started, it was a bit harder, but now people are coming out of the woodwork and offering it.”