Over-the-top selfie palaces and bright pink walls are great for the 'gram and all, but The Confetti Project is more than your average social media-happy headshot sesh. If you're looking to capture yourself (or your loved ones) in an authentic state of candid joy as thousands of colorful bits of paper are being thrown at you (and you don't want to deal with that serious clean up sitch), then you'll want to schedule a visit to the pop-up photo booth when it returns to our city Saturday, February 23 from 2 to 6 p.m.
Founded by Brooklyn-based photographer and graphic designer Jelena Aleksich, the therapeutic photo experience is popping up at Apex Photo Studios in DTLA's Fashion District. An $80 ticket will get you a 10-minute snap fest, during which you'll be asked what you celebrate the most in life — and Aleksich will then document your response of gratitude in the midst of a kaleidoscopic confetti storm.
The sessions are open studio-style, meaning ticket holders can swing by anytime during the four-hour pop-up. Pro tip: To avoid waiting in a line, it's best that you don't arrive immediately when the studio opens or right before it ends. (Per The Confetti Project, "it's become a pattern that a majority of ticket holders come right when it begins.")
Once the pop-up is over, you'll get three to five edited photos emailed to you in a week to 10 days. (Expedited and additional photos will cost extra.)
Curious about what started it all? Born out of a personal challenge to profile some of New York's most interesting creatives, Aleksich dreamed up the idea to throw confetti at her subjects after getting glitter bombed and hoarding confetti that rained down concert attendees at an OK GO show.
Here, we got to know Aleksich to find out what else inspired The Confetti Project, one of the secrets behind its success, (hint: There's actually a "perfect confetti-to-human ratio"), what she loves about L.A., and more. Read on below, then book your sesh online here.
You've created hundreds of happy moments for people — how has The Confetti Project brightened up your own life?
It was the first thing I ever went full-throttle with. In the beginning, it started as a three-month photography challenge where I profiled 50 people in my bedroom in Williamsburg [in New York City] to then make a coffee table book out of it. In those three months, I got to focus all of my thoughts, behaviors and actions toward one goal. So, it was the first thing I ever finished so that's been an empowering, limitless feeling with anything I decide to do now where action is the pulse of passion.
During that time, my father was diagnosed with cancer so for an entire year I doused my first 100 people with confetti while my father was dying. I call it "my year of cancer and confetti." When he passed away, I got to experience first-hand how the project has given me a new perspective on my life: One where every moment is meant to be celebrated. Celebration, to me, means having gratitude everyday for this precious life you're given. I was able to tap into that gratitude even amidst grief.
What has been some of your most memorable moments that The Confetti project has captured so far?
I've had the great fortune of accumulating thousands of moments with The Confetti Project — both through the camera and when I'm connecting with the subject first, always asking: "What do you celebrate?" This typically becomes a conversation that ends with when I take my camera out to snap photos. Within that space, the moments that are the most profound are when the person really goes there in exploring the answer to that question. They greet the moment shedding any masks they typically wear and accept the challenge of being comfortable with being vulnerable.
Topics in mental health, miscarriage, grief, struggle, suicide, and death have been shared where I hold space with encouragement. After that, when they're in pounds of confetti and I have my camera, this beautiful transformation happens where you can visibly witness them so present in the moment, completely surrendering. That may be my absolute favorite part of everything I do.
How much confetti do you use during the process?
Love this question! It really varies. I would say it's around two to three pounds for private photo shoots and mini-session formats. For a pop-up, I'd say around the same. The max that we've done is 13 pounds a few summers ago right here in L.A. actually. You'd think the more the better but I've found the more you have, the more slippery it can be and I've had to find the perfect confetti-to-human ratio so I can at least see most of people's faces when I photograph them.
What are some of your favorite LA spots to visit while you're here?
I'm mostly a Westsider! I fell in love with Venice the first time I came to L.A. eight years ago. One of my favorite things about L.A. is the pioneering wellness movement here, so a lot of the places I love to visit are based upon wellness, spirituality and mindfulness. Erewhon is probably the best (and most expensive) health food store I've ever come across. Coming from NY, I love immersing myself in nature here: Venice beach, Los Leones Canyon Trailhead, and Runyon Canon. Any stationery or lifestyle store on Abbot Kinney. A new favorite: Hollywood Forever Cemetery and exploring creative spaces in DTLA.
The Confetti Project at Apex Photo Studios, 1024 South Santee St., Suite 800, Studio C, LA, 90015