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Archive for May, 2014

Elizabeth: One of my projects this year is working with long-time clients, going through their files of photographs from almost two decades now, and collaborating on ways to use the images with their voice in words capturing intimate moments and life lessons along the way. My first client, Tammy Finch,  is one who has without fail, had her children and sometimes her and her hubby alongside, photographed every single year for the last 18 years.  Her oldest daughter, who was 4 when I first photographed her, is now getting married in a few weeks. This project is just unfolding and has so much potential.  For now, it will be an ongoing blog series accompanied by the photos that inspired her from that year in their life. But who knows what the creative process will bring, I am looking forward to help facilitate the project and give you a glimpse at a way to use photography and writing to document your life and pass down a lifetime of growth and intimate personal experiences to your families.

 

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From Tammy:

First Photos

Oh, how completely I joined with them.  Four years apart, separated by gender and personality.  Joined by love of each other and me.  Mothering, for me, an immersion in love.  Expressed love, long constricted in childhood, continually seeking, finding an outlet in mothering.

Mothering, a vehicle for knowing–growth, self-awareness, developing power.    A first burst—after a long and difficult birth, finally closing my eyes to rest, David asleep in the recliner.  After a few seconds, the nurse bringing Jessie to my side, saying, “Mommy, she needs you.”  My job, my responsibility, my ability to do what others cannot.  Jessie’s survival, her thriving—dependent on me.  Standing in that open doorway, embracing the responsibility, the power, the love. No fear, jump in, immersion.

Another early knowing—sleeping in bed with us.  Jessie, and later Grady, wanting nighttime comfort.  Surrounded by connection and touch during the day, both babies craving that same contact in the dark.  Mothering–knowing and understanding the need, fighting the judgments of others. Finding a way to make it work for us all, creating comfort, security, and safety.

A long night with Jessie early on, she was six months or so, hurting with a recurrent ear infection.  On antibiotics and a little Tylenol, Jessie struggling to sleep, in pain, wanting only to be held.  David sleeping in the guest room so he could go to work in the morning. Nothing to be done while waiting for the medicine and the body to heal.  I was enveloped by the need to DO something to make it all better for her.  Talking to the pediatric nurse on call, late night. Knowing–a flash of realization.  She just needs to BE with me.  Letting her sleep on my chest all night long, her hurting ear against my heart.  The warmth and the love lulling her to sleep and comfort.

Grady-new knowing.  Mothering a powerful soul, active, seeking, a force onto itself.  A need for space, control, and independence.   Mothering as observing, waiting, stepping in only when needed.  Allowing a physical power so early on.   Walking at 9 months, falls and spills, a scab on his forehead most of the summer.  Dressed for the day, outside to play, a few minutes later shorts and diaper off, climbing the slide.  The subtle frowns of mother in law and neighbors.  Allowing anyway, nurturing the powerful joy of body and movement.

Mothering–sparking souls’ growth…theirs and mine.

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I am seriously the most inspired I have been in a long time with photography, I can barely contain myself! I ran into Diana Bloomfield, one of my long-time favorite photographers, at an exhibit opening at the Mahler Gallery for Jon Kolkin. She invited me to be a part of a small photo group that gathers once a month. I wasn’t too sure about committing to a group that focuses on fine art photography during a time where I was really trying to refocus my efforts on my portrait business, but I have been shooting more art images lately, and I have been trying to be open to new experiences and what I can learn from them so I agreed. The first meeting Diana showed work she had recently taken at the Crabtree Jones House and printed with a vintage process from the 1800s called gum bichromate printing. (Click the link for a full description and history) I LOVED the images, and using this process they just felt so soft and dreamlike- and I just knew at that moment, I wanted to try it with some of my work. When I shoot in my off time, I shoot in very quiet, serene places and I just knew printing these in this way would complete the look I wanted to get across with my imagery. Plus, I also imagined how beautiful this process could look on my portrait work, both the candid work as well as the more formal. Soooo, after thinking about it for the next few days, I asked Diana if she offered private workshops. And thankfully she does, so it didn’t take long for me to figure out a way to make this happen! In the meantime, I talked to my student, Rae’s, mom about the whole thing and sent her to Diana’s website. We all agreed that Rae’s images would also be perfect for this process, and that even though Rae is only 11, she wanted to do it, so we signed ourselves up! Rae and her mom and I spent 10 hours with Diana this past Saturday in her gorgeous studio renovated by local builder, Greg Paul. It was such a treat to do work in a space where there was beautiful natural light streaming in, the color of the wood floors and ceiling bouncing off the walls, and great music overhead to keep our energy alive. And to top it off we broke for an amazing potluck lunch:) She is an amazing teacher, so patient and generous, and we had an inspiring day- filled with learning but also sharing stories and lots of laughter. And at the end, somehow Rae, I guess because she is 11, still had energy and talked me into a little delirious dancing:) And then, I went home and slept the best I have slept in ages! I was full of inspiration, excitement, and really sore back and feet! I  awoke at 5:30 am full of ideas and thoughts of how to make this happen. I will give you a hint of this plan… it includes a really cool vintage trailer turned workspace/studio-(Thanks to  Kristen Randall  of MoodSwing jewelry- who makes the gorgeous pendants made from eye glass lenses that we did together- she has been putting this in my head and sending craigslist ads for the most amazing trailers! and a possible career change to photography for her which could include more collaboration), traveling with the studio/work space to different cities for a few weeks out of the year, working on  a mix of my landscape and portraiture. I am about to hit 20 years in business next year, so this is the perfect time for some inspiration, change it up a bit, to keep me motivated for the next 20????PHEW! I was so excited to learn this process and see the images transform before our eyes. It is a long labor of love but completely worth the effort. I can’t wait to create more-so the next step is working out the details to get the equipment and space needed. So I am off to work to start saving! Oh, and one more thing…Rae is having an exhibit opening in June here at my studio! She will be including the prints she made in the workshop but since they were her first and are so special, they will be for exhibit but not for sale. Check out the invite on our blog/website or facebook page! And if you want to see more of Diana’s amazing work, or are interested in a workshop, please visit her website here! www.dhbloomfield.com

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