In a belated nod to Valentine's Day, a few of us from the Who We Become collaborative are joining forces to showcase things that we love. Dead flowers don't usually top my list, but one of the things I DO love about photography is how much fun there is to be had capturing beauty in the smallest things. A backyard flower revisited, three ways:
I am chock full of imperfect analogies and incomplete thoughts these days, but bear with me. It is very easy to live in a shrunken universe, where the only relevant things in our lives are our kids and our spouses, our jobs and our communities, our paychecks and our neighbors. Good intentions, passion projects, causes close to our hearts, the art of empathy - when it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day, we turn inwards, even at the expense of others. Recently, I stayed close to home, and in doing so, I failed to speak out and lend my voice where it is needed.
As a parent, all instincts point towards protecting my children. Yet, I know deep down that the best protection is to send them into the world as competent, compassionate, thinking people, even if that means teaching them hard things and letting them fly on their own.
Of course, the best way to mold competent, compassionate, thinking people is to be one myself. And so, I will try to do better and be the kind of role model I want for them. In the meantime, I encourage the adventurous souls in my home to find the joy in the unknown and tackle their fears. In this particular instance, in the second-to-last car of an upside-down rollercoaster.
The casual observer of this site may have noticed a distinct lack of activity in recent weeks. While I may eventually try to catch up with my remaining summer images, for the time being, let's assume that is unlikely. In terms of recent events, did I mention that two of us went to Iceland? We DID. The primary purpose of the trip was to celebrate the birthday of an awesome friend, but a few nice pictures came from the travels as well. Here, an Icelandic horse, a rainbow, some casually captured Northern lights (with no tripod, sorry about that) and a waterfall for good measure.
Summer is coming! This one is shaping up to be a busy one, but after the fun I had last with my daily shooting project last year, I have decided to give my 75 days of summer (give or take, I haven't counted yet) another go. We are kicking off the summer holidays in Italy next week so it will start out on a high note that I won't be able to sustain, but so it goes. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, this smiley person has been asking me to "take a picha, mommy?" lately, so how can I say no? Please click over to our collective Who We Become page to see everyone's monthly pick, or for a more personal look, take a spin around the circle, starting with one of my favorite local photographers, my very talented friend, Julie Mak.
"I wanna ride da scoodah hemmet! I speedy, Mommy! I speedy!" Love watching this little human tackle the world.
Our collective Who We Become blog post can be seen here, and if you'd rather peruse some lovely photography bit by bit, I invite you to make your way around the blog circle, starting with my fellow city mama, the incredibly talented Julie Mak.
This one has two obsessions at the moment: her "scoodah and hemmet" and her "rainy boots." Today was not a day for the scooter and helmet but we managed to avert a meltdown when she realized she could wear her rain boots outside (instead of with her pjs as she is wont to do) AND bring her umbrella. While it stopped raining not long after we left the house, she felt rather strongly that the umbrella was still necessary. I had my camera on me, so wasn't about to argue the point.
Did I mention she is almost two? She's going to be great at it, we can already tell.
Our crew over at Who We Become chose November 15 to reinvigorate our collaboration. We plan to share our work with one another and with whomever else might be interested. To see our images this month, please click over to Who We Become for the mosaic, or for a closer look at each individual, please travel the blog circle, starting in Minnesota with the lovely Julie Kiernan.
I wish I were kicking off on a happier note. In New York this weekend, people gathered to show support for Paris, as well as for Beirut and all victims, in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. A small gesture, perhaps, but the majority of the sombre and reflective crowd came to show love and solidarity for those enduring tremendous loss. Others had a more pointed agenda.
I doubt that there are ever "right words" for times like these, but I hope that by choosing a path of love and tolerance, any contribution I am able to make to this global conversation will represent my belief in humanity, rather than my fears for it.
Audience, continued. This week, we're shooting for the home front over at Who We Become. Will the grandparents love it? Undoubtedly. Will I love it? Less of a guarantee. I need to be better about getting back to why I got into photography in the first place. When it comes to photographing my family, it's not about the perfect shot, it is about the memories. I also am trying to be better about making sure there's proof that I was there, too.
Audience. Who do we shoot for? How do we modify our choices based on our anticipated viewers? These are the questions we are considering in our initial conversations on Artistry over at Who We Become.
As I mentioned in my biographical post last week, city images are a particular love of mine. When I go out to shoot it is with the hopes of capturing something that will intrigue other city-lovers as well. I admit, this particular image was shot with my friend Elaine in mind. She is a runner and her icy instagram posts of her early morning runs on the West Side motivated me to get out there and check it out for myself.
I admit, my leap into this new project has been hindered by a variety of delays, mostly of my own doing. But the project is up and running over at Who We Become and it is about time I jump on the bandwagon.
In our first week, we kicked off the year with the idea of facing our fears and embracing the things we find comforting. This week, we are introducing ourselves, including our fears, by putting together a brief artist's biography. And so, below, is a bit about me.
In many respects, I am a very practical person. I make reasoned choices. I am timely. I am calm. I am private (and therefore find this exercise somewhat excruciating). I am responsible. If it sounds like I am describing a lawyer rather than painting the picture of a passionate artist in residence, then you would be correct. Yet, here I am – also a photographer.
In some ways, this is not surprising. I have long been the family historian. My family moved around a fair amount when I was growing up and photographs served as our portable memories when we left one home behind in exchange for a new adventure. I was immersed in the arts, though most often in the form of music. So my adult foray into photography began as the perfect solution to my need to tap back into my neglected creative side, my desire to learn something new and my hope of documenting my young family in the way that I see them in my heart as well as through my eyes.
But then, my dabbling took on a life of its own. I found myself engrossed in photographing New York City. I love it here, except when I hate it here, and find the city and its people to be endlessly inspiring and fascinating subjects. I am not alone in this - New York is filled with photographers, all out there feeling equally as inspired. Pioneering an original voice, creating imagery worth sharing, conveying meaning in addition to pretty scenes, giving enough of myself without baring too much, working hard for something only to let myself down by not playing my cards right or simply not being as good at this as I want to be - these are my fears. I am excited to face them, fight them and embrace them alongside my generous and talented friends in the coming year.
I am very excited to announce that those of us over at Who We Become are officially launching a new project.
We spent a year studying light, and a second year focused on compositional techniques. In this third year, we are engaging in the subject of art and artistry. We will be engaging in an ongoing conversation about art and artistry, while also undertaking a weekly shooting project. While these were originally going to be one and the same, we have decided to split the Artistry discussion and the P.52 - a shooting project called "Perspectives" - into separate parts.
Our first Artistry theme is Fear. But in order to identify our fears and determine how we may want to address them, we began by discussing our comfort zones. What are the images we feel at ease taking? For me, the image below is a perfect example. It may not be beautiful or perfect, but it is precisely the type of scenario where I am happy to whip out my camera.
I love low light. My family in a public setting makes for easy subject matter. I prefer a more documentary style to portraiture. I am happy working in black and white. While my photographic fears may be many, they do not involve any of these features.
Please head over to Who We Become for the kick off post on Artistry. You will find a more in-depth statement of our project as well as a collection of "comfort zone" images from our group.