Meg Wachter is a unique artist—for one, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. “Dumped,” a collection of photos featuring her friends getting various items dumped on them, isn’t a meaningful commentary on the state of society. “[It] was purely for fun and self-promotion of my work,” she admits. What results is a playful showcase of people laughing, cringing, or looking vaguely serene as everything from Pepto-Bismol to cottage cheese is poured over their heads. “I was interested in capturing the reactions, as well as creating unusual but striking images,” Wachter says. Judging by the hilarious expressions and vibrant colors that characterize every picture, I’d say she accomplished that and more. You can learn more about Wachter and view her work on her Web site.
“The Pepto-Bismol one is by far my favorite,” Wachter shares. “Her expression, plus the pop of color, just hits it for me.” In this picture, it looks almost like paint, instead of liquid relief for upset stomachs.
This woman looks as if she’s taking a refreshing shower in cereal and milk, which is one way to streamline morning activities, but certainly not recommended. It sure does look fun, though!
Tar and Feathers
Wachter says that all of her friends who participated chose the materials that were dumped over their heads. Interesting that this guy went with a substance that’s extremely hard to remove from skin—but he looks comfortable with his decision.
“I can’t remember what inspired the series, but it most likely came to me as I was falling asleep,” Wachter says. That sounds like the start of a very bizarre and fun dream.
This gentleman always prefers his coffee with milk, even when it’s running down his face, instead of his throat. He’s so into it that he didn’t even take his glasses off beforehand—now that’s dedication.
Ben, the friend pictured here, looks mildly put off by the situation at hand. But considering said situation involves eggs being broken against his dome, it seems like he’s doing better than expected.
I’m looking at this picture, and all I can think about is how difficult it’s going to be to wash the maple syrup out of her hair. The way the camera flash hits the syrup and makes it glow is a striking effect, though.
Few men can manage to pull off a “come hither” stare while cold, gloppy cottage cheese is making its way down their hair. Well done, Joel.
“Everyone I shot asked how they were supposed to react, and frankly, I didn’t know. I told them … [to] react as naturally as anyone would getting such an unusual substance thrown onto them,” Wachter tells. “And that’s what happened. The reactions were pure.”
I haven’t craved a bowl of SpaghettiOs since I was about eight years old, but this is making me fondly remember its orange sauce and tomato-with-a-touch-of-chemicals flavor.
All of these shots were taken in the hallway of Wachter’s apartment in Brooklyn, New York, a few years ago. They’re now available in a book, Dumped!, which can be purchased on Blurb.com.
The reactions Wachter captured are absolutely priceless. This one’s a favorite of mine—definitely the best use of Sunny D since it came out on the market.
I love that the participant who looks the most disgusted has arguably the least disgusting substance to tolerate. Imagine how she’d look if she got tarred and feathered!
“As retribution at the end of the shoot, I let them dump oatmeal and cinnamon on me,” Wachter says. The mark of a great artist is a commitment to her craft, after all, and Wachter is a photographer with an inspiring, yet relatable, vision. Plus, she chose one of my favorite breakfasts, which instantly makes her cool in my book. If you want to receive updates about Wachter’s work and sources of inspiration, be sure to check out her blog.