The Paris-born, New York-based photographer Stéphanie de Rougé has taken two age-old adages, “the eyes are the window to the soul” and “you are what you eat” and combined them in a clever, intimately revelatory portrait series, In Your Fridge. She took nearly forty personal portraits of the inhabitants of Paris and New York, and then paired them alongside shots of the interiors of their own refrigerators.
Her subjects, who only thought they were sitting for portraits, weren’t always entirely comfortable when, once she had finished capturing them, she asked if she could take a picture of their refrigerators. In fact, many of them, willing to be immortalized themselves, refused to let her peek inside their fridges. As if they themselves had less to reveal then the state of their groceries. But those that did agree often had some surprising things in there: dolls, drugs, yellow post-its, regiments of water bottles and even clothing.
“My purpose was not to invade, but to share,” says de Rougé. A frequent freelance photographer for the New York Times and with work that’s appeared in publications ranging from Elle, to Esquire, to Le Monde Magazine and the Italian Io Donna, de Rougé’s main interest is “to observe humans in urban spaces.” With a sociologist’s curiosity and an artist’s eye, she aims to capture, without words, how city dwellers “work and interact, eat and morn”, to discover “where they hide their secrets”.
Who knew that where and how you keep your food could reveal so much about you? Take a look at the In Your Fridge photo gallery: you’ll never go grocery shopping in quite the same way.