Reason, Passion, & Heart
Where does my heart for what I do come from?
My two little boys love the song Seasons of Love from the Rent Broadway Musical Cast Recording. They each love to sing the number, "Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes." Jonny even once brought it in as his favorite son on his Special Day in First Grade. I love it too. I love it because they love it...but I also love the question that the song asks: how do we measure our lives? The lyrics say, "In daylights?...In sunsets?...In midnights?...In cups of coffee?...In inches? ... In miles?... In laughter?.... In strife? This is what I think of when I ponder the reason for my passion for my career. It was true when I was teaching art full time and its true now as a photographer and private art teacher. Art-making and photos both are incredibly meaningful ways to help us measure where we've come from, how much we've grown, and the dreams we have deep in our hearts.
Its not just that photographs help us remember how we looked or how tiny our children were, though they do that. Its that they help us remember how we feel or felt. If your family has a fight on the way to a photo session, it doesn't really matter how big your smiles are, you'll probably always remember how you felt on the journey. You might not like to look at those photographs much over the years for that reason. We crave authentic. We desire joy. We wish for truth. I believe that our photographs are able to provide those things for us, if we let them.
Our Photographs are for us.
Our photographs really are for us. I look at a few very old photographs of my ancestors and I think they're neat to own, but I'm not emotionally connected to those serious faces looking back at me. Our photographs aren't really for generations beyond those who know us as much as they are for ourselves. They most directly affect our own minds and the generations who lived the frozen moments to try and relive it for just a brief time. Our personal photographs can be a blessing that way.
My favorite personal historical family photos
Slice of Life:
I am passionate about photography most of all, though, because I care about people and the stories that they have to tell. If we are all created in God's image, there is something deep that connects us. In some moments, we get to become more aware of those connections. Photographs help us make those connections because a single image takes a slice from the larger pie of our lives and allows us to focus in on one moment. The busyness fades away and we get to contemplate on something more universal.
The photographer gets to interpret life through lighting, composition, expression, depth of field, angle, and life experiences. and then the viewer gets to interpret the final print with all of the wisdom and life experiences that he or she brings. Like any other art piece, both the maker and the viewer bring interpretations to the work.
Reference: The Psychology of Photography
Iconic images throughout time have defined our cultures and sparked change in the world. Those images are of great value. However, personal images can spark change and give us value as well.
I know that I am not made to be a photo-journalist. If I were to witness devastation on an assignment, I think I'd jump in to help rather than stand back to photograph. I like to think that the images of our most important relationships get to incur change. They remind us, daily, as a source of visual culture in our homes, of our emotional connections to our friends and family. They remind us that we are loved and supported and remind us of good moments when tougher ones come along. They remind us of where we've come from on a journey of doing life together.
My heart and passion are to make iconic images for individuals to be reminded of their joys, love, tenderness, and their journey with others on this earth.
Serving My Family:
I have solid priorities in my life that go way beyond my passion and interests. One of those priorities is to give my best self to my husband and children. As an introvert, being a teacher in a classroom all day drained me. It wasn't a good fit. Being able to use my other art background and create a flexible business model that allowed me to be an artist, serve others, and serve my family was the best fit. They are my heart and a huge inspiration for my work.
If you'd like to see a sample of my other posts, check out my previous post titled Brian's Words. Telling personal stories is an important component of my photographic work!
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