Photographer Antoine Repessé has a new photo series titled “#365 Unpacked” that required some rather unusual preparation: he spent 4 years gathering trash to create the garbage-filled sets.

The 37-year-old, France-based photographer started collecting recyclable waste in 2011. In addition to hoarding his own, he also enlisted the help of about 200 of his friends and colleagues to collect the waste as well. In the end, he managed to collect about 70 cubic meters (~2,500 cubic feet) — enough to fill a large shipping container.

All the trash was stored in Repessé’s large flat, stored by type into different rooms.

After gathering all the junk he needed, Repessé began shooting his portraits. Some of the images took 10 hours to build and shoot, since he had to load up a van with trash, drive to the locations, create his sets, light the scene, capture the photos, and then pack up everything again.

“I got really involved in this project,” Repessé says. “Physically, because I lived with [the trash] for four years, and intellectually because it represents a big contemporary issue. Now we just can’t ignore it — we’re responsible for this.”

Here’s a short behind-the-scenes video showing how this project was done:

You can find more of Repessé’s work on his website and Facebook page.

Image credits: All photographs © Antoine Repessé and used with permission

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