In order to participate in this art project, the following are required:

  • Submit the signed Photo/Video release form below.
  • Answer the brief questionnaire.
  • You will need a web camera enabled device such as a desktop or laptop computer or a camera phone/tablet.


Thank you for participating in the Portrait of a Reader Art Project!

Please copy and paste the following into the message box to the right, along with your name, in order to participate. 

I grant Nikki Gardner permission of the irrevocable and unrestricted right to reproduce the photographs and/or video images taken of me, or members of my family, for the purpose of publication, promotion, illustration, advertising, or trade in any manner or in any medium. I hereby release Nikki Gardner for all claims and liability relating to said images or video for the use of the Portrait of a Reader Art Project. Furthermore, I grant permission to use my questionnaire  responses that were given during an interview or guest lecture, with or without my name, for the purpose of advertising and publicity without restriction. I wave my right to any compensation.


Please answer the following questions in the box on the right and send me your answers.

  • What is your name?
  • Where do you live (city & state)?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • Why is it your favorite book?
  • What is your favorite passage from the book?
  • Do you have a favorite place to read?


Portrait of a Reader is an art project I started to connect through a shared love of books. I will use video conferencing software to connect with each reader. Each call session will be up to 15 minutes long.  Calls will be made during the day to take advantage of daylight hours. I will direct how I want the shot composed (close to an open window) and use screen capturing as my camera shutter. 

I will use Zoom.us for the videoconferencing calls. I will email you the scheduled time/date and meeting ID number which is 380-813-2974. You can download the Zoom.us app to your desktop, laptop, or camera phone/tablet. Note: You do not need a Zoom account to participate. At the scheduled meeting time, simply launch the Zoom app and click “Join a Meeting” then type “380-813-2974” for the meeting ID number.


  • Camera Setup: If possible, set up your webcam device, camera phone, or tablet in front of an open window or open (front or back) door for the best light. You will face the light during the call so you’ll want to set up your device toward you. If you are working on a desktop computer that you cannot move, try to orient yourself so that the window is in front or to the side of you when looking at your camera. If there is direct sunlight falling on you, either move back a little or place sheer fabric over the window to diffuse the light. 
  • Stabilize your camera on a steady surface. If you are using a camera phone,you can stabilize your phone by using a tripod (if you have one, or creating your own with a large binder clip fastened to the bottom or side of your device, depending on which way I direct the shot (vertical or horizontal).
  • During the call, I will direct you as to where to place the camera, how to angle it, and how to frame the scene. I will also direct you into position, pose, and where to place your book, where to look, etc. Remember, this is a collaborative project in the sense that I am the film director and you are the camera operator. I am looking forward to our collaborative art making!

*These are general guidelines but will ultimately depend on your space, availability of light, and in the moment directorial decisions.


I will edit the images and choose the best one for the project. The images will be displayed in an online gallery. In the future, I also plan to show the work as prints in an art gallery that would also include a digital version of the gallery space. 

Once the online gallery is available, I will email you the web address to access and share. I will also send you a digital file of the image I include in the project.

Thank you again for your participation, love of books, and willingness to make art as a way to bring hope and joy in the world.

Wishing you peace and health,

Nikki Gardner



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