Sunday, June 9, 2013

The beginning

Everyone loves stories. We’re all engrossed by stories several times a day, whether through books, on television, on the internet, office gossip or the news. Our culture is no different from when the ancients wrote their stories on the cave walls with pictures. And I don’t care if you’re a lawyer, professor, plumber or housewife/husband - you love stories.

I’m just like you. My career as a professional stage manager in regional theatres was prime opportunity for me to sit with the masters and watch how stories could be presented, and I’m not just talking about the actors and director. The designers told stories. They added to and supported what the actors were doing through texture, light, shadows, sound, etc.

It was my Aunt Linda who said I had an eye for photography. She was an artist and art teacher and her knowledge in the visual arts was massive.

Though Aunt Linda and I were pretty close, we didn’t speak to one another regularly. I lived in New England, she was in Georgia. But upon seeing some photographs that I’d taken at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI, she felt compelled to call me and tell me, in her beautiful Southern drawl, that I had the artist’s eye and needed to keep at it. That was the first inkling I had that I was an artist, not just a manager in the arts.

Then, Christmas of 2011 changed everything. Wendy, my love, my partner, bought me a REAL camera. That’s when the floodgates really opened. I began to see that starving artist in me opening up in a real way. I see things because of this craft that I wouldn’t have normally seen.

I continue using what I learned in theatre in my photography, but what I’ve added to it is a process that starts with meditation and calm. To sit and observe and record my observations of nature or man-made things creates such a sense of belonging that exceeds church. It is a process that connects me on an intimate level with my subjects. It’s pretty awesome:

awe·some [aw-suh m] adjective
1. inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear; causing or inducing awe: an awesome sight.

Here's one of the photos from Swan Point that prompted Aunt Linda to call.
*Full disclosure:  After spending some time in the cemetery shooting some photos, a security guard told me that photography in the cemetery was off limits. It wasn't so serious that I had to delete my photos, but I also don't use them much when showing my work.

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