Lessons Learned

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 5
Posted in: Community, SOOC, Universe

As I wrote in the previous post, my photography show opened this past Friday at the Lincoln Community Playhouse gallery. I am grateful to be sharing those walls with my dear friend and talented photog, Sarah Gervais, and I think our work looks fabulous shown together. To be honest, I am still in a bit of shock that I’ve had the opportunity to exhibit my photography three times this year. WOW. I’m trying to truly take that in, to acknowledge how far I’ve come in this creative journey, and to not just focus on dreaming of how far I want to go. In doing so, I’ve spent the last half-week really reflecting on what I’ve learned from exhibiting my photography. I’ve come to realize that everything has light and shadow, pros and cons…even something as amazing as getting to have my own photography show. But today, the light. Here are three things I’m holding close about exhibiting my photography.

Getting the opportunity to have a photography show is having the incredible space and time to celebrate the work. Photography can be a fairly isolating experience. I hardly ever shoot with other people, and then I upload and review my images on my computer by myself. Yes, I do post some of my photography here at Life Refocused and on Flickr, but the vast majority of my work stays with me, without other sets of eyes to take it in. So having the chance to exhibit my photography and to invite friends and the community to come see it is so amazing. I have felt that it is truly a way to honor my craft, to celebrate the way I see the world, and to publicly include others into my creative journey.

If you’ve come to my little corner of the blogosphere before, you may know that I have struggled to believe that I can carve out a creative life for myself. You might know that I am working hard to overcome the negative messages I received as a little girl about my creative prospects. And hopefully you see that I’m getting there. One of the things that has helped me move forward in these ways is having a photography show. Seeing my work enlarged, matted, and framed…hung on the gallery walls…Yeah. I feel like an “artist.” And that is an incredible feeling.

The other piece I’ve really learned during this year while putting together three exhibits of my work is the importance of getting my photos out of the camera, off of the computer, and into my hands. If you aren’t in the practice of getting your photographs made into actual prints, then you are truly missing out. To hold your photographs in your hand is a completely different experience than simply looking at them on the little LCD screen of your camera or the monitor of your computer. And I’m only talking about the 4x6s! If you really want to experience your photography, ENLARGE those photographs. You will be blown away. Seeing my photographs enlarged helped me to see so many aspects in each image that I had never noticed before. Rainbows appear in lens flare, shimmer alights in bokeh, and texture emerges so clearly that you feel like you can literally touch it. It’s a magical experience that only enlarging and printing your photos can bring.

These are some of my favorite things I’ve learned this year in my photographic journey. I can’t wait to see what’s in store as I move onward.


5 Responses

  1. Congrats, again, on your exhibit! I was remiss in not sending you and Sarah “good luck” cards 🙁 But I was thinking of you nonetheless. You bring up a good point about printing off your photos. I rarely print photographs anymore, and while I’m not a photographer, it IS a different experience holding them in your hands, isn’t it?

  2. Corinna says:

    Yes yes and yes to all of this. Not that I’ve ever shown before, but what you say makes sense. And I am SO WITH YOU on the tension between wanting to claim a creative life and feeling unworthy of the mantle. Or feeling like other people might see me as unworthy of the mantle. Either way, bad and stifling.

    I took a deep breath and blew up one of my landscapes to a HUGE (like, 4′ x 3′!) stretched canvas and it landed on my doorstep yesterday. It boggled the mind to see something I made, so big, so real, looking really… artful. Even if I don’t mount a show, I can see that printing might make me feel more real. Might just have to try that.

  3. Annie Samuels says:

    What a wonderful post. I only wish I could’ve been there for your show. I have one scheduled for next year and may need to ask you some questions beforehand. In the meantime, bravo! I am so happy for you, Meghan!

  4. Kim says:

    Hooray! Sounds like the exhibition was a success, inside and out. All of these points are excellent advice and I absolutely 100% agree on the last one! Everything is so digital these days that most photographers miss out on that opportunity to actually hold their photographs in their hands. It’s such a different experience altogether, and it can really bring you closer to your work!

  5. Anne says:

    So sorry I missed commenting on this when it happened…man, I’m out of it. But congrats on the show, and on this artistic direction you’re taking.

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