I was supposed to be a flight attendant. At least, that's what the test I took in elementary school said. Scared of strangers, heights and airplanes generally, I never really considered it. During the summers I programmed on a Commodore 64 and built model rockets. I didn't have a lot of friends (see photo above). I surfed a lot in high school, got a liberal arts degree from a beachy California university and made my way up north to San Francisco.
The year was 2000. I got a job at a thrift store. I played in some terrible bands. My rent was $300. After an internship at a recording studio I landed an entry-level gig at an online music company. My job was to rip the promo CDs and then put them in a binder in the basement. One day I walked into my boss's boss's boss's office and pitched a video series, a sort of travel show that featured musicians. I had a friend in São Paulo whose band was in the studio making their second record and she said she'd give a tour of the city on camera. A few weeks later a filmmaker friend and I flew to Brazil to shoot the pilot.
Ten years later I was the Manager of Original Content Development at Google Play. A normal Tuesday might be an email from my boss saying "We've got the exclusive release of the next Busta Rhymes record. I need a pitch for a video campaign on my desk by EOD and I need you in NYC on Saturday to film it". I did that job for just over 3 years. It was pretty wild. I still can't believe that was my life. I think they call it Imposter Syndrome.
Over the years (perhaps due to my work, and sometimes, in spite of it) I've met a lot of really interesting people who are doing some really interesting work - fields I didn't know existed, jobs that certainly were not included on that test I took in elementary school. The RE:MODEL Project came about because I wanted to challenge myself to recreate some iconic photographs, but mainly because I'm fascinated by the process in which we DECIDE WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO WITH OUR LIVES. I have a deep respect for (and jealousy of) the people that this comes easily to.
For the record, I'm 36 years old and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
Danielle Mallory is an east coast transplant who slowly migrated to San Francisco four years ago in search of warmer winters. She spent years working as a photo assistant before earning a B.F.A at SMFA. She recently quit her job as a bar manager in order to seek out the new and uncomfortable and to devote more time to photography and travel.