NOLA

At the beginning of December I went to New Orleans for a portfolio review event which turned out to be so much more. The reviews themselves were truly a learning experience; I received great feedback about my work which has really set me thinking hard about why and what I photograph. Because I tend to hole up when I work, it was so good for me to meet other photographers and share our portfolios outside of the context of the reviews. I was most inspired by everyone's amazing imagery!

Best of all was New Orleans itself. Back in Vermont days when my friend Ethan read a lot of Anne Rice, we spent many an afternoon making portraits in the cemeteries - capes and all - wishing that we could go to New Orleans. Fourteen years later, there we were.

I think we all have a part of ourselves that we miss. A part that's maybe most who we are but that gets covered over with the stuff of daily life after a while. For me, that part is Vermont fourteen years ago when I had a studio and homemade darkroom above the Main Street shops in Bristol. Up an immense flight of dusty old steps and down a long, Poe-esque hallway with creaky wood floors. My gargoyles guarding the door. Huge windows on pulleys.

New Orleans brought me back to that. Time with Ethan brought me back to that and I am grateful that we were able to do a bit of lurking about in between my reviews and just wandering around the city.

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Visit my Flickr site if you'd like to see more images from the trip.

Mine

Given that I've kept a journal since I was twelve and have been photographing even longer than that, I suppose it makes sense that at some point I would be drawn to combine the two. I hesitate jumping on the blog bandwagon - this isn't about making my personal life public, drawing reader attention, or filling a quota of posts to keep people interested. Really it's about getting myself to photograph more. It's about having a place to scribble that belongs to me, not to my business, because the line between the two is so often muddy, as it is bound to be for anyone who turns a love for a hobby into a career. In the end, who knows what this will become - hopefully it won't fizzle out!

There is a photograph I just love. It is a self-portrait of Ethan's brother, Ryan, celebrating the purchase of his 1946 Luscombe Silvaire. Donned fittingly in a bomber jacket, white scarf and aviator goggles, he stands tall enough to lean an elbow on the engine cowl and wrap his arm around the propeller like an old friend (or a new love). He points to the sky with one hand and in the other holds a homemade sign that says, simply, "MINE". To me that sign represents not only a dream of his come true but also a testament to his vision and commitment to making it happen. It deserves an exclamation point. I so admire that kind of dedication to the part of yourself that dreams, that is a visionary. This blog is no airplane but it is as important to me in its own small inspiring way, and so I call it mine. ( thanks, Ryan! )

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