Cleveland photographer Chuck Mintz doesn’t own a precious object.
This may seem odd for a man who recently completed a photography project revolving around objects of this nature, that is, items that people have had for long periods of time, that hold special meaning, and that would not, or could not be replaced.
When pressed on the point, Mintz half shrugs and slides a wry smile across the table as we sit drinking tea in a Gordon Square coffee shop.
“This project wasn’t a search for my things,” he said. “It’s about other people’s stories. It’s about the beauty and integrity of other people’s presentations.”
Indeed, that’s precisely what Mintz hopes others take away from “Precious Objects,”- collection of portraits that depict subjects with their self-chosen precious object, alongside a hand-written statement explaining their choice.
He hopes the project gives viewers pause to consider someone else’s story in a way that’s meaningful to them. “I hope it makes them laugh, makes them cry and makes them think,” he said.
We asked Mintz to walk us through the process of completing Precious Objects. Here’s what he had to say about defying basic photographic principles, Facebook friends, and the subject who was photographed with his inmate card.