Tuesday, July 12, 2011

these last two weeks have been and are going to continue to be crazy.
the fourth of july, two weddings in two states, two birthdays, two family sessions, and hopefully a newborn session
on top of the regular day to day summer life.
I'm not complaining...just feeling like I have a moment in the midst to try and gather my thoughts.
typically when I run four hundred miles a minute, I'm flooded with tons of thoughts.
and this week didn't disappoint in the thoughts category.
and what random thoughts they are.

learning thoughts.
I've come to a realization.
I don't think I am ever going to be done learning.
I might never go back to traditional school (halle-freaking-lujah!)
but the act of learning will hopefully never come to a stopping point.

I was watching SYTYCD (yes, I recognize the oxymoron...and yes, I know I CANNOT dance.)
the beauty of art in dance never ceases to amaze me.
seriously, watch this dance about addiction and not be moved...

this week on the show I was struck with travis' statement on his taking another one of the choreographers dance class.
I don't know why, but I just assumed that he didn't take classes anymore.
he's a winner of the show and now a choreographer/judge for the show and yet he STILL takes classes!
it just brings more truth to the fact that I will never be done learning this life.

there is a statement that I read from another photographer, and I learned something this week:

"become a storyteller rather than a photographer."

it's still resonating with me.

he went on to ask the question:
"why tell stories with your camera?
I enjoy looking at a story over a snapshot any day.
telling a story with your camera forces you to slow down and think about what you're doing.
what is it about this scene that makes me want to make a photograph?
what moves me or is attracting me to the moment?
is there a point of view that I am trying to capture and preserve?"

I have a need to tell a story as a photographer and I'm not just interested in taking snapshots.
every wedding, every family session, every [unique] session needs to tell a story.
just like every good story has a beginning, middle and an end.
every good photograph should have an obvious way to draw the viewer in, something to hold their attention once they get there, and then leave them with somewhere to go when he/she is done.

I've heard a photographers say they wouldn't photograph something because "it's already been done."
I've even been guilty of saying that!
but that is the exact opposite of creative thinking.
there is always a different or even better way to shoot what has been photographed before.
you just have to "see" it.

this photographer I was reading went on to say:
"it's simply in-authentic to do something JUST BECAUSE it 's new - if you don' t feel it in your heart.
I saw a beautiful portrait at this year's WPPI hanging in the print competition.
while the younger folks might have called it "old fashioned" I called it "classic."
it scored very well and should have.  I am sure the maker was proud of it.
I am sure the subject of the portrait and her family loved it.
but yet , I heard one young woman laughing at the photo because it used a painted muslin background.
she was having a field day attacking both the image and the image maker because that was such a "cliche?"
sort of like her blue hair was a cliche.  seriously.
just because you make a spectacle of yourself ala Lady Gaga or Paris Hilton, that doesn't make you cool or new.  it's the talent underneath all the tattoos, lip rings, dresses made of meat , hair colors that are off the RGB spectrum, etc. that matter.
I understand the need to set yourself apart.
and I don't really care what color your hair is or how many tattoos you have.
what I do care about is whether or not your photographs represent your true vision.
I care about the artist underneath all the trappings.
if you expect me to be impressed with your outrageous attire or attitude, forget it.
that's boring by now."

big words, and big thoughts for me. :)

my mom.
I told you.  random thoughts. :)
my mother is astounding me lately with her creativity and thoughtfulness.
you see, she came to me a couple weeks ago and let me know she wanted to "help" me in some way.
she recognized that in my "four hundred mile an hour life" that maybe I could use a little help in the dinner category.
a category that gets very little attention.
and when I say "very", I mean pretty much almost never.
which when I stop and think about it, it's kind of strange...she is one of the best cooks in all the land and you'd think I would have gleaned that tid bit from her.
but, nope.  I did not.
thus, the inauguration of grandma's special feasts.
what is it?
um, I'm a little hesitant to say...
JUST KNOW that I know I'm spoiled and that I have the most amazing mother ever.
she makes a huge family dinner (with enough for leftovers) over to my house once a week so I don't have to cook.
(say it like craig fergusen, it's much more amusing and lessens the jealous thoughts you might be sending my way right now.)
she says she loves to help this way and her creativity is simply oozing out of her...slightly thanks to pinterest, but mostly because she's just wired that way!
however she got her creativity, I'm unbelievably thankful for her and eating a ton better too!
here's some of the things she's made us...

nature thoughts.
it's getting close to vacation.  I can feel it.
vacation symbolizes peace to me.
I get to walk in non-hell-like temperatures.  seriously.  117 degree's.  awesome.
I get to see tree's and flowers and birds and just rest.
but it's not quite time yet and I read a quote last week that is helping me:

      it does not mean to be in a place where there is
          no noise, trouble or hard work.
                               it means to be in the midst of those things
                  and still be calm in your heart."

I like that.
I feel like I'm finding moments of that.
oddly enough, when I look at my flowers that I found at fresh and easy.
did you know that fresh and easy sells peonies?  and hydrangea's?!  and orchids?!!
flowers I simply haven't seen outside of chicago and california.
but they are there nonetheless.
and I buy them each week because they remind me to find peace in the midst of life. :)


Kathe said...

Your mom wants another child right? Cuz I am looking to be adopted after this! :D She is we know where you get it from, you just channel it in a different direction! :)

Kathe said...

*can I at least have the eagle thing recipe?! pretty please!!!!

elizabeth said...

So cool! your thoughts...the gravity dance...I still remember it. Thats a story. Just like in photography, if you can tell a story people will remember it and be moved by it. Mom, is awesome, creative and a giver in SO many ways. Such a beautiful post Jen!

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