Monday, April 14, 2014

Caught In Action

I am very self-conscious about others seeing me in my creative process. When I set up my camera to take self-portraits, I try to wait for a space and time where streets are empty, and no one will see me in front of my camera. The whole process is very personal to me, even if the final photographs are pieces I am inclined to show to an audience.

Of course, my desire to shoot privately is sometimes difficult, and during those times I have to suck it up and tell myself that it doesn't matter that other people see me in front of my camera. Today while I was taking a self-portrait, I noticed a woman and her fluffy dog staring at me intently. I turned off my camera, and approached her because she was standing in a spot very close to the next photograph I wanted to capture. Well, it turned out that I had nothing to be self-conscious about because this woman was so fascinated by what I was doing, and she wanted to know all about it.

Her name was Diane. We talked and talked about photography, and she told me that she loved black and white photographs. I asked if I could take her photo--I loved what her face looked like, and I felt like we had created enough of a bond that she would accept. Diane was so appreciative that I saw her beauty, and she kept insisting that "she didn't take good photographs," but I totally disagreed, and I told her so. She got all misty eyed, and so did I because I realized that I was able to make her feel beautiful when she usually doesn't.

Here is a photograph of Diane in black and white:

A few minutes later, Diane's neighbor, Brenda, strolled up in her wheelchair. Diane really wanted me to take a photograph of her, but Brenda was hesitant because of her cigarette smoke--she said she loved Diane and she didn't want to bother us with her smoke. However, after enough insisting from Diane, Brenda said, "ok, take a picture of me," and I captured these two:

Shortly afterwards, we all went our separate ways, and it was one of those partings where everyone just met (or at least I just met Brenda and Diane), but I felt like I was saying goodbye to old friends. 

Here are some of the self-portraits I was trying to keep private:

 Extra, Extra Long Legs

And here are a couple of bathroom selfies:

Extra Reading:
Sixteen children and their bedrooms: Photographer James Mollison took photographs of sixteen different children from around the world along with photographing their bedrooms, their spaces. It's so fascinating how much some of the children resemble their rooms--the shape of their faces, their clothing, their expressions. When I was in middle school, I had a writing assignment where I had to describe someone by illustrating what their room looked like. Mollison's photography project reminds me of my middle school writing assignment. 
Go check out Mollison's photos! They are very interesting. 

Thanks for keepin' up, everyone!


Recently I had surgery on my gums, and therefore I am unable to chew food for two weeks straight. Eating is one of my all time favorite things to do. If I played a sport, eating would be it. The past week has tested my patience and made me realize how much I took chewing for granted! I've tried to mash things up, like the salmon I ate last night, and that makes eating go incredibly slowly. Mash, mash, mash. Tiny bite. It's absolutely infuriating... and I have never longed to eat a vegetable so much in my life!!

After work today, I went out to dinner with some old friends. I could not eat the delicious bread that all my friends devoured in front of my eyes, but when the waiter brought out salads, I tried my hand in eating a tomato. I kept cutting up the tomato into very small pieces, and I noticed the waiter watching me do this. Complete silliness, cutting up a tomato into tiny, swallowable bites!

After dinner, I dropped two friends off in a quiet little neighborhood, then parked, and began searching for this evening's photo subjects. I ended up walking only about three blocks or so, but I found and photographed multiple perspectives of tonight's gorgeous, full moon. While my camera was on its tripod, I met a woman named Amy, who told me that tomorrow evening/early morning on Tuesday, there will be a lunar eclipse! (Find the eclipse's schedule here.) Amy and I had a great conversation, and I ended up being really glad that I parked to take photographs. You never know who you'll meet or what you'll find or what kind of ideas you'll create while walking around. 

Here are the many faces of the moon: 

Extra Reading:
Susannah Benjamin: For Christmas one year, Benjamin's mom gave her a Kodak point and shoot, and though she let it collect dust for awhile, she picked it up later when she began attending an all-girls' school. Benjamin saw her friends struggle with what many people grapple with--body issues, peer pressure, and bullying--and she decided to document that reality. Later she ended up being hired by Beyonce to shoot part of her 2011 world tour! Go check out her Flickr feed. I love young people who do amazing things because they inspire me to be better at what I do! 

Goodnight, everyone, and thanks for reading!