I thought about it last night and here is what I'm thinking:
4x5 is going to be limited to formal portraiture. I have the Speed Graphic, but I do not have an appropriate lens, really, for the type of candid handheld photography that I really want to do. If I can find one I'll start using it for outside shots. If I can't, I'll just use something else.
6x6 is going to be my main format for this. I'm going to use a Mamiya C3 and 3 lenses: a 55mm, an 80mm, and a 180mm. I actually like the idea of square format for this project. The 80mm is probably going to be my most used lens. Printing to 8x8 would be nice.
35mm is going to be my backup for when I just can't get enough light. I'm thinking of seeing if Adam, the husband, would let me pick up a lens I've been coveting for quite some time: the 50mm f/1.2 AIS. If I'm going to use it as a low-light camera, my as well go as low as possible.
My main reason? These are strong, hard-working people. They deserve far better than to be out of work for any amount of time. The ones, like my dad, who have been there for so long, deserve so much more. I do believe that they will at least get a good severance package when the plant does finally close, but even that I'm not sure of. I want to portray the people as they are now...unsure of the future, but for the most part still able to enjoy their lives. I think I most want to tell the stories of the older workers and the workers with families; those who are a few years from retirement and those who have little mouths to feed.
I think, ultimately, I want to help these people. I don't know how yet. I know how incredibly lucky we are that Adam found a job so quickly after he'd been laid off; it was only a little over three months. Being pregnant at the time, though, and pretty heavy with child when he found his new job, I felt very...apprehensive. I know what these people are going through and I really want to do something about this. Maybe put together a book and have all the profits go to help if people need it.
It's still just a concept. I think that this entire town has a story because of this. Maybe I should broaden my scope a bit and actually take as many photos and get as many stories as I can, and then choose the best way to compile it when I'm finished.