Why I started to recreate strangers’ Instagram photos

The story (my version)

“I wanna be more human on social media,” I thought to myself. Then, in the spur of the moment, I deleted my Instagram account and threw out my cellphone. I found a bar and got drunk. The next morning, when I woke up with a huge hangover, I came up with a fantastic idea.

I quit my job. I bought a new cellphone. Then I found myself scrolling through people’s lives on Instagram for hours and hours. After a month, I had dug up millions of photos, and I chose the ones that best resonated with my vision for this project: to re-create some of the craziest moments of people’s lives. Yes! That was my calling!
 Now I just needed a team with the same passion; I found them on Craigslist. Money? You don’t necessarily need money to produce a passion project in Los Angeles! As a good friend once told me “In LA, if you can conceive it you can achieve it!” Damn right! With the help of my awesome team, I produced this project.

My photography consultant’s EDITED version!

Project ReCognition was started in October 2017 in Los Angeles. The idea behind the project is simple:

- We scoured about 5000 public accounts on Instagram.
- From these, we chose the most creative, dramatic, and authentic photos.
- We re-created and re-shot these images with a professional crew in LA.
- We wanted to move beyond the filtered selfies and recognize people who are using IG to express their real emotions.
The Project is ongoing. You can find it on Instagram using #projectrecognition or by visiting my website.

What I’m doing next

1. Finding a real job? No!

2. Recreating more photos and writing more about this project? Hell yeah!

I want to tell you why I believe these people portray true stories of our generation; stories of greed, fear, anxiety, love, and hate. I hope I can share more photos and behind the scene stories with you. 
 But above all, I need your feedback! I need YOU!

Truly yours
 — Reza

Concepts: Reza Bahrami, Sarah Hooshiar
Photographer: Reza Bahrami
Producer: Crystal Vinson
Model: Aussie Guevara
MUAH: Carolyn Caruso
Set and Style: Jenni Rosas
Photo Assistant: Brandon Barnette