Mar 8, 2024 - News

Plano photographer captures what you'd save in a fire

A portrait of a woman and a portrait of a man on a gray background

The ONE Project encourages people to reflect on their most treasured belongings. Photos: Courtesy of Larry Lourcey

If your house were on fire and all of your loved ones and pets made it out safely, is there something else you'd run back inside to get?

  • Plano-based portrait photographer Larry Lourcey has found that either you have something like that, or you don't. And he can't figure out why.

The big picture: For 18 months, he's asked people to pose for a portrait with their interesting sentimental objects at his Plano studio space. He calls it the ONE Project, symbolizing people's most treasured objects.

  • He says the project keeps his creativity flowing after being in the portrait photography business for decades.

The intrigue: The objects Lourcey has featured include a clock over 130 years old; a 1980s invoice saved by an audio store employee of a customer who became his wife; and a sari that's become a family heirloom in memory of a Carrollton man who was killed in 2005.

  • He shares each portrait and its story on social media.
  • "It's not what I'm used to, where the image is the star of the show. The image takes the backseat to the story in this one, which is kind of cool," Lourcey tells Axios.

How it works: Participants don't pay for the 15-minute session. They also get an 8x10 photo.

  • Lourcey's time is limited, though, and he can't get to everyone who wants a session. He has raised the bar for what's interesting enough to be featured.

What he's saying: "It's been really weird that when I talk to people, they fall into one of two camps: Either they immediately know what it is — sometimes they have two or three things — but other people can't come up with anything," Lourcey says.

  • "There's no common denominator. It's just that some people are one way and some are the other, and I don't know why."

What's next: He plans to end the project over the next few weeks.


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