As the weather folks have forecasted snow for tomorrow, I’m longing for Spring. It is mid-April after all. With the fickleness of Mother Nature (no offense), I have seen glimpses of Spring’s return despite the cold and snow that have come in between.
I’ve let my Polaroid 210 Land Camera sit for too long. She’s been quite neglected to say the least. As I’ve seen many of my friends post Instagram photos with their own packfilm cameras, I thought I would dust off the 210 and take her for a spin in this final stretch of my current 365 project. As I was shooting through the pack of black and white film, I realized I had never taken a self-portrait with this camera. WHAT?! Seems crazy, but it was true. So, I quickly remedied that situation.
And here it is, my very first self-portrait with my Polaroid 210 camera…
Hint — click on the photo to see the image larger and on a black background. I think the photograph really looks great against the black.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, I hope Spring is making its way to you. Here in the Midwest, she is coming in fits and starts. As I type this, Mother Nature is sleeting and raining and giving us a dose of wintry mix. But just a few days ago, I took my shoes off and stood in the grass for the first time in 2013. Luckily, I caught that moment on film. Here is that brief moment (on the left) as part of the first “polatych” for April in my collaboration with Celina (hers on the right). We are doing double exposures for our theme this month.
As I mentioned before, Tony and I took a quick trip to Nashville a few weeks ago to meet up with our dear friends, Melissa and Tom. We met M&T a few years ago when they were working on a documentary about marriage, and they came here to Lincoln to interview us! We immediately hit it off and totally believe the Universe brought us together. Tony and I agree with Melissa and Tom when they say we are like each other’s couple clone. We chose Nashville to meet up as it was a city that none of the four of us had ever visited and a place we all had an interest in checking out. We explored the main strip in the downtown area and lots of little neighborhoods throughout the city. Of course, I packed a number of cameras, looking forward to shooting photographs of a new place. Here are some highlights from our trip that I shot on two of my Polaroid cameras with instant film from the Impossible Project.
First up, the Loveless Cafe and Motel, a Nashville staple serving up some of the most amazing biscuits (plus, I can’t resist a vintage, neon sign)…
A little wheatpaste art in the 12South neighborhood…
The famous letterpress, Hatch Show Print, who have been in business since 1879 making posters and press for country music starts, political campaigns, and more…
The facade of Barista Parlor, one of the coolest and yummiest places to grab coffee (and biscuits and jam tartlets) in East Nashville…
Of course, when in Nashville, wear your boots! Melissa and I showcasing ours…
And last but not least, a lovely portrait of my Tribe sister and kindred spirit, Melissa, on our last morning…
These photos can’t possibly capture the fun the four of us had together, nor all the sights and delectables we enjoyed in NashVegas (I am not making that up!), but I hope it gives you a little glimpse into our escapades down South. Where will M&T2 venture to next? Rumor has it that Paris and London could be on the books!
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I wanted to share with you a great — and difficult — opportunity that presented itself which allowed me to work a bit deeper with my word for the year. As promised, here is that story.
As many of you know, I’ve been working on a 365 project since last April. I’ve been focusing on practicing (my one little word for 2012) my photography by shooting every day, and I’m oh-so-very-close to the finish line of this milestone journey. And while I may not feel totally inspired each and every day, I have been consistently shooting and diligently marking each day with a photograph from one of my Polaroid cameras or my digital SLR. A few Fridays ago, I was running fast and furious — I had my pre-op visit with my surgeon, multiple meetings with students, errands to run, Parker to drop off at the dog-sitter’s house, and packing to do as Tony and I were leaving the next morning to head to Nashville to meet up with some dear friends. At around 8:15pm, as I was sitting at my computer checking-in for our flights, it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken a photo yet that day and that I needed to take care of that. A little while later, Tony got home from a play at the high school where he teaches and I realized I hadn’t eaten dinner yet (hello after 9pm!). So I talked with him, heated up some leftovers, and eventually finished packing. The next morning arrived, we had some coffee while getting our remaining items together, I grabbed some film from out of the refrigerator, and off to Omaha we drove to catch our plane. After making our connection in Chicago and mid-flight to Nashville, a wave of awareness and an immediate sinking feeling washed over me. I DIDN’T SHOOT A PHOTO THE DAY BEFORE.
I felt horrible. Sick to my stomach. Tony was asleep in the seat next to me and I desperately wanted to wake him up so I could tell him that I didn’t take a photo the day before. I realized that was selfish of me and that there was nothing he could do about it, so I let him sleep. But I so wanted to scream as loud as I could that I DIDN’T SHOOT A PHOTO THE DAY BEFORE. I was that upset. I
wanted needed to tell somebody. I wanted needed someone to “talk me down off the ledge.” I was beside myself that I had come this far in the project, that I had only 45 days left to cross the finish line, and I had f*cked up. I was so mad at myself. I felt so stupid. HOW COULD I FORGET? It wasn’t even like I felt uninspired or bored. It wasn’t like I just didn’t feel like shooting something. It was simply that I forgot. It was the mere fault of being over-scheduled, over-full, and maxed out for the day, that it slipped my mind in the midst of all the other details. Not shooting a photo was a result of me simply being human.
Now I realize that this is not the catastrophic problem that I was feeling it was. I totally get that the world was going to keep on spinning, and that in the grand scheme of life, this was not that big of a deal. And I know that most people wouldn’t even really care. But I care. This 365 project matters to me, and I felt incredibly angry with myself. I felt such a sense of disappointment. I felt like I blew it.
And then I had to shake it off. I was not going to quit, even though the urge to do so might have been strong given the ways in which I felt I had blown it. I’m betting that this is what happens to many people who don’t complete a 365 project — one day causes a hiccup, a missed photo, and the feelings of f*cking it up makes people throw in the towel. But I chose to accept that this is what happened. I didn’t shoot a photograph on day 320/365. And while that was a total bummer, I had to pick up my camera on day 321/365 and move FORWARD. I had to dust myself off and keep going. I had to put one foot in front of the other, and keep doing the work. The Universe gave me a beautiful, if not painful, opportunity to practice my one little word for the year. And I’m grateful for it.
I shoot a variety of formats — digital, Polaroid, 35mm, 120/Lomography, and iPhone. I love each of these formats for different reasons, and I appreciate that photography allows me to play in such different forms of the same craft. In shooting across these spectrums, I often think about if there is one format I like “best.” So, being wired the way I am as a researcher, I decided to do a little experiment and shoot the same scene with multiple formats. I thought this might help me really see some of the differences and similarities across instant film, 35mm film, and digital platforms.
I hope you click HERE to see the rest of my post over at Mortal Muses where I compare and contrast three different images of this colorful rocking horse. I’d love to hear your thoughts on which you like best!
Over the past two years or so, many people have asked me about the Tribe. They want to know what is the Tribe, who is in it, and most of all, how did the Tribe come to be. The Tribe is my group of soul sisters. They are the core of my creative community. The Tribe are some of my most kindred spirits on this journey of carving out a creative life and focusing on what matters. But it wasn’t an accident or pure happenstance that brought us all together. It took effort and risk and trusting the Universe for me to even dream about putting together this group of inspiring and wholehearted women.
In the spirit of collaboration — and I am all about collaborating and putting our creative efforts together — two of my Tribe sisters, Elizabeth and Emily, and I collectively wrote a piece about the Tribe. We tried to answer those questions of how it came to fruition, what it felt like to be asked to join this group of then-strangers, and what the reverberations have been from taking the leap and going all in. We also wanted to share many of the photographs that we have taken of our time together, celebrating the sisterhood that we have cultivated among ourselves. So 7 of us selected photos from our two retreats and threw them into the collaborative mix. We wanted to share our story to inspire other women to create their own Tribe. We all need connection. We all need to be seen. We all need to find our soul sisters.
I’m thrilled to share with you that our collaborative piece, writing and photographs, are hitting newsstands this week in Mingle magazine. I really hope you check out, especially if you are searching for your kindred spirits. They are out there and you deserve to find them. We all need a Tribe. xoxo
As you might remember, my dear friend and Tribe sister, Celina and I launched a new collaboration last month. We are combining our love of instant photography into diptychs, or what I’ve re-named “polatychs.” This month, we kept our eyes open for signs of spring, and here’s our result (Celina’s branches are on the left and my purple flowers are on the right).
I’ve had to really hold on to these small indicators that spring is in fact on its way, as it snowed a day or two after I shot my photo. I’m so over winter at this point, as I know many of us are. I hope you stay tuned and see what Celina and I have in store for April.
I have just about one month left until I reach the conclusion of this 365 journey that I’ve been on since my birthday last year. I can’t believe how quickly a year goes by (although I am aware of how often I lament the fast passage of time). I’m a little behind in posting my photos to the 365 page (see that 365 tab up in that right hand corner of the banner?), but rest assured, I’m not behind in my shooting each day. My goal is to get “caught up” and in real time in the next week with posting the rest of my images. That way we can all play along in the actual countdown to April 22nd and the 365th photo!
On the very next day, April 23rd — my birthday — I’m launching a brand new 365 project. I’ve hinted here and here about the focus of this new 365 project. And today’s photo gives you another teaser. Any ideas? It’s going to be epic.
Have you ever stopped to think about the ways you walk or drive around the town/city in which you live? Do you drive/walk the SAME route every time you go to work or to the coffee shop? Inspired by Lindsey’s Mortal Muse theme for this month, “around me,” I got out and about here in Lincoln, NE. I realized how easy it is to just go about my days, walking or driving the same routes, and not venturing out onto new paths or spaces in this small city. I felt grateful to have the nudge to see what’s around me (with my 35mm camera!) for either the first time or with fresh eyes.