Let me see your handbag, Jeremy Goldberg said to fashion icon Iman. He made her dump all its contents on a table. Then he instructed her to stand against the wall, and he shot her and all of the items she'd been carrying.
The resulting images are part of the Los Angeles–based photographer's Purseonal project. For four years, Goldberg has been asking women around the globe—famous personalities like actresses Emmanuelle Chriqui and Stephanie March and Facebook Vice President Carolyn Everson, as well as district attorneys, students, and commuters—if he can rummage through their purses and wallets and photograph the mysteries contained therein. He then pairs mugshot-style portraits of each woman with her purse(onal) cargo. To date, Goldberg has photographed more than 300 women in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Tokyo, Seoul, Malaysia, and Singapore; he recently exhibited some of the results at Tokyo Photo 2014.
Goldberg is drawn to learn more about his subjects by exposing what they carry when they think nobody is looking. "Women's purses are generally off limits," he explains. "Even a husband would never dump out his wife's purse and go through the items, but that’s exactly what I've been doing."