Margaret Bryant

The Dangers of Drunk Dialing

This was taken as an expression of frustration with the telephone company, who had taken five days and three service calls to fix a problem with the line.  But it is more about the trouble one can get into when intoxicated, how one can become tied up and strangled with their own words.


Artist, mother, poet, misfit in middle America.  She is new to photography; has been about a year since she started playing around with it.  She considers herself an artist using photography as a medium more than she considers herself a photographer.  She’s had no training whatsoever and thinks that has been of benefit to her.  It’s easier to break the rules if you don’t know what they are in the first place, and it’s good to break the rules.

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Margaret Bryant

36 thoughts on “margaret bryant – the dangers of drunk dialing”

  1. Visually captivating; however, before I read the artist statement, I thought the subject matter was entirely different.

    Perhaps what gives this image a twist is the way the subject is speaking into the phone. That small glimpse refutes the colors and lighting of the rest of the image.

  2. The photograph represents the story wonderfully. The overall body language, the colour, the excellent and brave crop all goes well here. The only thing I want to view more the wide open mouth (Probably screaming) out of frustration. The right hand posture shows the tension and frustration quite well but the little bit facial expression , at least the portion of mouth ma enhance a bit as per my perception.

    Partha from India

  3. Thoughts this was an essay on telephone sex!!
    Cool image very striking! Like it a lot.
    In fact I’ve got a very close Spanish friend who works on one of these virtual sex phones. She makes a good living from it and she has her regular clients! It’s amazing what some men can get up to, funnily enough she is absolutely beautiful and not the typical stereotype woman at home with a sexy voice. I asked if I could do an essay on her working…you see she speaks to these guys whilst she cooks, does her cross word puzzles and ironing so it would be quite cool essay…but no way she doesn’t want anything to do with it!

  4. Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    “Well, there’s your problem right there, Ma’am. The cord’s not connected to the phone.”

    A little comic relief?

  5. Thank all of you for taking the time to comment. I have a couple of specific responses:
    1. Akaky– Thanks, these shoes ROCK, they are my absolute favorites. They are altered Miu Mius.
    2. Partha– Yes, I agree, that is what I WANTED to do with this, have the screaming mouth show, but there was a problem and I just could not crop it that way without ruining it. I REALLY wish I could have.
    3. Jsmie– OK, YOU try getting this shot of yourself with a 10 second timer and see if you can keep all your cords connected! lol… yeah, I think it’s funny too and you’re the first to catch it.

  6. Paul, maybe have a look at (not sure if I can post a link here) Phillip Toledano’s web site at ‘phonesex’ if you have not already. You might find that a good place to start.
    Jack Storey

  7. Jack…

    Yes I forgot Philip Toledanos essay on phone sex! But anyway my friend will NOT pose for this essay! I’ve asked her twice and it’s a sure no… I can’t complain she is my private model/muse always accepted willing any kind of photo project when I’ve needed a model. But she is a very private person, i have well over a 2000 images of her…but she made me promise years ago that I would never show any of the images to anyone.

    I’m on the bus and I’m getting some very dirty looks from two elderly women behind me…they must think Burn is a pornsite :)))))

  8. You know what’s kinda lame? I NEVER made the phone sex connection! It’s all good, the more layers of meaning as a person can get from it the better, but it simply never crossed my mind.


  9. All I know is that there seem to be some of these rules because I’ve been accused in both good and very negative ways of breaking them. I really DON’T know what they are because the griping ones never bother to explain.

  10. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m really unaware of any rules (talking art, not photojournalism or medical imaging or something like that of course). Maybe there’s a rule about using some sort of camera, which would include scanners, cat scans and the like. But other than that, I don’t think it’s any different than other art forms? Are there any rules in painting other than using paint, if that?

  11. Ha, broke my own rule about commenting without saying anything about the work…

    Nice photo. I like the color, dof, and playfulness. The unplugged phone cord goes with the theme. Sometimes accidents work…

  12. Hey, in the era of iPads and cell phones, love the picture and the idea of having THE telephone in the hands with a real keyboard with numbers!
    VIVA bakelite telephones!

  13. What is that big, bulkly, black thing in the middle of the picture?

    I agree with MW – I looked at this and then left for awhile and I found myself wondering both what rules you were referring to and also what rules you believe you broke when you took the picture.

    In both cases, I am stumped.

    Fun picture, though. And yes, I smell the alcohol. I’m not certain that I would have, had I not read your statement, but having read it, I definitely do.

  14. I think it’s mainly really REALLY stuffy people that believe general helpful guidelines are hard-and-fast rules; therefore you have done something wrong if you crop a foot off, no matter how intentionally it was done, or something. Best I can tell. But if there were no “rules,” per se, there couldn’t really be photography classes. And I think lacking these very basic photo 101 teachings helps me, specifically, because I’m afraid with those skills it would be too easy to get caught up in technicalities, and also too tempting to PURPOSEFULLY break these “rules” which might not always be the best idea. As is things are all is instinct which I think is best when developing a style. When the instinct is solid enough to trust, and to know when to just ignore things like whatever aperture setting general knowledge of such things would tell me to use, THEN I want to learn all those things.

  15. Oh, don’t get me started on the topic of “you’ve cropped her feet off!!” Gah, I had an image I shared on flickr where so many people complained I’d cut the wheels off a stroller and then told me to reframe in a way that would crop of something important. Last time I checked, stroller wheels didn’t carry any obvious and heavy symbolic weight. Fools.

    Fun change to the Burn cover, seeing this up here. Like it. Digging the throwback to ye olde days when “mobile” meant as far as the cord could (or in this case, not) stretch. Nice. :-)

    And, on the topic of Burn being a pronsite, well, all I can say to that is…BURN baby BURN! ;-P

  16. danger????!!!!
    drunk driving? yes
    drunk posting on burn? yes..
    but drunk dialing??? nah , i dont think so :)
    (big hug, nice photo btw. plus the shoes plus those fishnets plus the legs ;)


    i do not think anyone here is a rule follower…we never talk about “rules” here…no “photo 101” of course depending on who was/is teaching photo 101…the so called “rules” are from a long long time ago…so go crazy….or not…no rules..loving this image….

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