Whether you enjoy the a good Big Mac and fries or consider it a scourge of the modern world there’s no denying just how ubiquitous those golden arches are. New York based Nolan Conway’s latest work ‘The Many Faces of McDonalds Customers‘ does exactly what it says on the tin, depicting people from every walk of life in the US who are united by one thing, a meal at McDonalds.
As documentary photography goes it’s work like this that I think resonate most significantly with audiences at large. We’ve all been there, regardless of what we think of the food and Conway’s work illustrates just how varied their customer base can be. Visiting 150 of the 14,000 McDonalds restaurants in the US across 22 states Conway deftly illustrates what a significant part of modern life such huge chain restaurants are and what a social leveler they represent. The images require little explanation but at the same time they speak volumes about modern life and the reliance on convenience as well as much deeper issues such as food deserts which effect great swathes of people in the US, especially those belonging to less affluent social groups. It’s this I think that makes work like this so important to modern documentary photography, because it’s capturing a big but everyday part of modern life we may never really notice the significance of otherwise.