The Next Step

I’ve been in a definite funk the past few weeks. Everything is fine, really. Lots to be grateful for, in fact. Yet, I’ve had a case of the blahs. I’ve been walking around with these feelings of sadness just below the surface, tears waiting for any opportunity to roll (have you seen those new Google Chrome commercials with Lady Gaga and Dan Savage?!? Those get me every time). As I’ve journaled most mornings and written about this funk, I’ve tried to figure out where these blahs are stemming from. I realize that much of it has to do with expectations, desires, and waiting on a decision or action from someone else. I am beginning to see that I’m giving scads of power over to others, and not holding much of my own. So yesterday, as I went to a much-needed yoga class, I set a new mantra for myself: “TRUST. I have done my part.”

I have done my part. And I cannot control the actions of others. I can only do my part. And you know what, repeating that mantra, reminding myself of that, is helping. I can only take the next step. Honor the journey. And maybe Lady Gaga has it right, maybe I’m on the edge of glory.

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Posted in Funk, Refocus, SOOC, Universe | Tagged , | 11 Comments

PX 680

The Impossible Project released their latest Polaroid color shade film — PX 680 — a week and a half ago. I’d seen some of the beta test film during the JOY retreat as Andrea had some in hand. The colors looked great ~ such an improvement from their first color shade PUSH film. I couldn’t wait to get some of my own. As soon as I got the Tweet that the film was live and on sale, I jumped on it and ordered 5 packs! I’m still working on the exposure, fiddling with my lighten/darken wheel versus using the ND filter, but here are my first four shots.

I’m really excited about this film. It is incredibly freeing knowing that the Impossible Project is making more film and that it’s quality keeps improving. Now I don’t have to feel like such a hoarder with the few packs of expired 600 film I still have in my stash. Well…okay, I’ll still use that for super special occasions, but I can’t wait to keep playing with this new PX 680 film, knowing that more will be made!

All photos taken with my SX-70.

Posted in Polaroid, Self-portrait, SOOC | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Directly or Obliquely?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a great deal about goals and dreams. Goals and dreams for my photography, my creativity, my life. I’ve been pondering what I want and where I want to be. Reflecting on where I’m headed. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say where I want to head. As I look back on many of the goals and dreams I’ve achieved up to this point in my life, they’ve been tackled quite head-on. I’ve focused on them in the utmost of direct ways.

Yet, I find myself using lots of self-talk that includes statements like these…Trust the process, and Max Ehrmann’s assertion, No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you also know I’m fond of saying, Universe, do your thing! As I then reflect on these statements of assurance, trust, and faith, I can’t help but notice that they don’t exactly jive with my previous (and okay, current) steadfast and resolute manner of striving and directly working toward what I want. I think I’m having a bit of an inner conflict about these two modes, about working toward my dreams and allowing trust in the unfolding of my life and experience.

Coincidentally*, I’ve heard two talks recently about this very issue. One came from Wayne Dyer’s audiobook on the Tao Te Ching, where Dyer is discussing his interpretation of one of the verses. To summarize briefly, Dyer is stating that the Tao Te Ching teaches us to let go, implores us to not strive, and that by doing so, we will have what we need. The other message came from a talk at my awesome, incredibly inclusive, liberal church. Jim, the head minister, was talking about obliquity, the idea that certain things are only achieved as a side-effect or by-product of doing something else. In other words, coming at a goal or desire obliquely. This concept was recently written about by the economist, John Kay, but it has been used previously in psychological circles. To wit, happiness is not really achieved by working to be happy, rather it is a by-product of doing what you love, engaging in meaningful activities.

I think these messages were indeed signs from the Universe, and that they co-incided with one another for a reason. I’m beginning to see that the path is to directly focus on what I love and what brings me joy, while also having clear intentions and desires. And I’m coming around to trust by doing just that, the by-product, the side-effect will obliquely arise. No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should (re-stated for better “sinking in” purposes and my own internalization). But I realize I have a ways to go before this inner conflict settles down. I’m hoping these two approaches, directly and obliquely, can integrate in my mind and heart, and that my capacity for trust expands.

What about you–do you approach your dreams and goals directly or obliquely? Do you trust that Universe is unfolding as it should, or do you assert control over your destiny?

*Dyer talks about the ways in which we have corrupted the meaning of the word “coincidence” to refer to two things happening accidentally or by chance, when really it stems from mathematics and refers to two things fitting perfectly together–two things co-inciding.

Posted in Refocus, SOOC, Universe | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Indigo Show

My solo photography show opened at Indigo Bridge Books this past Friday! I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to display my work. I’m also incredibly appreciative to all the folks who were able to come by to show their support and take a look at my work on display. All the photographs will remain up for the month of May, so please go check them out if you are in Lincoln. For those of you who aren’t in Lincoln, I thought I’d share the 12 pieces I’m currently exhibiting.

The title of my show is Reflections, and the majority of the photographs displayed are images of reflected Polaroid shots—that is, original Polaroid photographs were reinterpreted through reflections in glass, and then re-photographed. These reflections call forth daydreams, visions, memories, a simpler time, a romantic notion. The first nine here are these reinterpreted photographs.

These four are displayed as a group on one wall…

On another wall are these three…

Then these two are hanging out together…

These three photographs are on a separate wall and are a bit different from the other nine as they are not reinterpreted photographs, but simply a reflected image…

So there’s the show! I hope this gives you a flavor of the exhibit, especially if you can’t see it in person. All of the images have been enlarged to 12×18 and are displayed in 18×24 black frames with custom matting. None of the photos have been edited (i.e., photo-shopped) in any way.  Everything is for sale, too, so let me know if you’re interested in a piece!

Posted in Community, Polaroid, SOOC | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Giddy

Install is done!!! I spent most of last night installing the photographs for my Reflections show at Indigo Bridge Books. The show launches tomorrow with an Opening Reception from 6-10pm. I’m officially giddy with excitement.

Hope you can stop by tomorrow night if you’re in Lincoln ~ I know tomorrow is filled with graduations and the like, so please know the show will remain up through the month of May. Can’t wait to fill you all in on how it goes!

Posted in Community, Self-portrait, SOOC, Universe | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Guest Post ~ Vivienne McMaster

I’m excited to share a guest post today written by the lovely and talented Vivienne McMaster. Viv is an avid self-portrait photographer who is able to capture the most stunning photos. And like me, she is a lover of Polaroid!! As Viv is also claiming her “artist” self, I asked Viv to share some of her thoughts on self-portraiture, Polaroid, and being an artist. Here’s what Viv had to say…

I walk down to the beach with an armful of Polaroid cameras.

The click of a Polaroid Camera is like no other and my creative muse craves it.  I place my cameras down and first focus on the Polaroid Spectra.  Though not a pretty camera it contains an unexpected magic.

I press the timer button and run to my place in the sand.  I stretch my arms wide or twirl, whichever feels more true to me in the moment.  The photo doesn’t shoot out of the camera though.  That is where the magic of a Polaroid Spectra lies for me, in double exposures.  I bend down in the dunes and take another shot then let the image emerge.  I watch it slowly appear.  You can’t predict what it will look like, or how the layers will emerge and they do and I do a giddy dance at what I see.

There are just some tools, like a Spectra Camera, that allow me to channel my creativity in a way I can’t expect or control, but what happens feels so right.

I put the Spectra down and pick up the SX-70 camera.  It is packed with one of my last few packs of old Polaroid film.  It takes a special sunny moment for me to aim it at myself.  This moment feels right.

I set the focus on the camera for what my arms length might be and reach outwards and press the button.  The sound of the SX-70 is dreamy.  I watch this image appear.

There is something so special about Polaroid film.  A big piece of taking self-portraits for me is to capture a moment, to say ‘I was here’ and be the narrator of the visual story of my life.  Polaroid captures it in such a timeless way.

I hold these images in my hand.

With their white borders they feel like complete works of art.

I arrive back where I am staying and place them on the windowsill, lining them up creating a gallery.  The friends I am gathered with come check them out and all of a sudden I feel really proud.  I want to give all of the credit to the brilliance of Polaroid but I take this moment to remember what I tell my students in my online classes: that it is YOU who takes the picture, not your camera.  So I take a deep breath and accept a compliment.

I so resonated with Meghan’s recent post about considering herself an artist.  I had never considered myself one growing up and had little artistic confidence.  Sometimes the most unexpected mediums appear in our lives and help us speak our creative voices in a way we couldn’t have predicted. They help us stand stronger and see ourselves claim that word of ‘artist’ or ‘photographer.’

It makes me feel so proud to see participants in my class, You are Your Own Muse, have that realization that they are in fact artists, or photographers and to see their unique creative voice appear {The next session of You are Your Own Muse starts May 23}!

Through playfulness and exploration we discover these pieces of our identity and what sparks our creativity and we can stand stronger and prouder of our artistic adventures. Whether it is with a Polaroid camera or digital, it doesn’t matter….it is us that speaks our creative voice through them!

I carry my Polaroid with me in my camera bag and keep my eyes open for moments that feel like part of my story and use these incredible photographic tools to help me tell that tale.

*****

Isn’t she great! Viv is even teaching online classes on self-portraits, and as a previous student in her class, I can attest that it is chock-full of helpful ideas and inspiration. Thanks for your guest post, Viv. I’m grabbing my Spectra and heading out.

Posted in Community, Polaroid, Self-portrait, SOOC | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Reflections

On Friday, I’ll be hosting the Opening Reception for my 2nd photography show. I’m over the moon about the opportunity to exhibit at an amazing local bookstore ~ Indigo Bridge Books ~ here in Lincoln. This will be my first solo show and I am ecstatic to unveil all new photography that I worked on throughout the winter.

The show is entitled Reflections, and the majority of the photographs are images of reflected Polaroid shots. That is, original Polaroid photographs were reinterpreted through reflections in glass, and then re-photographed.

These reflections call forth daydreams, visions, memories, a simpler time, a romantic notion. I hope you come dream with me if you’re in town. May 6th, 6-10pm!

Posted in Community, Polaroid, Refocus, SOOC | Tagged , , | 4 Comments