by Laura Hutson
Nashville-based photographer Heidi Ross has a Tumblr account dedicated to shots she's taken of other people's bedside tables. It's like a sexier version of snooping through somebody's medicine cabinet — each vignette of books, trinkets and scraps of paper works like a personalized cabinet of curiosities. Or as Ross defines it, an unintentional self-portrait.
One Nightstand initially arose out of my curiosity to see what other people were reading. However, almost immediately, I realized I was intrigued by everyone’s nightstand, regardless of reading material. These small territories adjacent to our sleep are where we leave the things we touched and saw last. They are littered — sometimes artfully, sometimes thoroughly unselfconsciously — with the totems of our everyday lives, which is part of why I find them so moving: They are unintentional self-portraits. Documenting them feels like a kind of miniature archaeology, so I try to disturb them as little as possible.
Look through some of our favorites after the jump, and see if you can tell which nightstand belongs to a novelist, which belongs to a yoga teacher, which belongs to a chef. The above photo, by the way, belongs to an extremely well-read 17-year-old.