Searching for themes {34 images from 2014}

I can’t believe we’re at the tail end of March already! A fourth of the year is already gone and well, that feels blog worthy to me.

An exercise I’ve been trying to practice lately (no not CrossFit) is to seek out that common thread that pulls my photographic vision together. It was not something I’d ever considered really until I took Visual Storytelling with Molly Flanagan last summer (ahhhhh-mazing class by the way which I think is sold out for April but seriously take this class when you can!). During Molly’s class I came up with some words that I felt described my vision and since that time I’ve tried to keep those themes in the back of my mind as I shoot. Molly encouraged us to come up with an over arching theme for our collection of work and to approach every shoot with that theme in mind. I never really developed a nice succinct theme during the course but I knew it would be something I’d develop in time. It’s hard to translate images into words sometimes. After all if a picture is worth a thousand words isn’t it supposed to do the talking for me? I feel sometimes like the mood or emotion I’m trying to translate is something I wouldn’t even know exactly how to describe in English. Or Spanish or any other language.

Does anyone else remember how back in the 90’s if you accidentally got someone else’s photos at Walgreens it was kind of the most exciting magical thing to happen to you all month? Or how looking at your friend’s parents photo albums (no matter how ordinary they were) was somehow intriguing? Why? I mean really there was nothing extraordinary about those pictures but yet I would pour over each one and analyze every detail. What type of salad dressing did they eat with Thanksgiving dinner 12 years ago? What book was Aunt Peggy reading that summer? Is that Peaches & Cream Barbie in the corner over there?! It’s like there is the picture everyone knew they were taking and then the secret clues to their real life in the background. The ones you didn’t mean to capture at all. I want to capture those details. On purpose. In a way that isn’t too obvious. Like a good book that gives you enough answers to satisfy but leaves some things open to interpretation of the reader.

A lot of words and phrases get thrown around in the photography world and I feel like they start to lose their meaning entirely. Lifestyle, documentary, real, emotive etc. They’re totally legitimate ways to describe certain types of photography but 10 photographers could say that about their work and all have completely different portfolios with completely different moods that leave you feeling completely different about the subject matter. So how do you get deeper?

I decided to pull the 30 or so images that spoke to me for whatever reason. Some I loved for a reason I can’t even verbalize. It might just be the expression or the colors or just the way it makes me remember. A couple of these aren’t even in focus. But I just picked them without thinking too hard. I removed about 4 or 5 that were clearly not consistent with the others even if they were technically stronger than many of the ones I did choose. My hope is that by the end of 2014 I can take my collection of 120+ images from the year and clearly see my vision coming through. Sometimes it’s very hard to put your vision into words. But pictures. Well now you’re speaking my language 🙂

So here are my some random favorites from the year so far. I’d love to see yours too! Happy Spring!

1 comment
  • Rebecca Wells - Ugh. So amazing. I feel like I’m a pretty solid stalker of you, but some of these I hadn’t seen before (like the one of Isla on the stairs). You have the BEST eye and an uncanny sense of timing. I swear, you’re always in the right place at the right time.ReplyCancel