Working From Intent

Real. Posed. Fake. Authentic. Candid. Contrived. Us photographers use these words. It’s on our minds. In this episode I explore the meteoric shift in my work from documenting what was before me to becoming proactively hands-on with my subjects. I love capturing life as it is and I love influencing it to my creative end. Is it possible to pledge allegiance to both?

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My Creative Commandments

Thou Shalt Actually Enjoy What Thou Doest and other things I’ve learned, been taught and discovered so far. These rules make my creative life not only possible but flourish. Do you center joy your creative process? Things changed for me when I made that my highest end. Also I was told once to work for the work and I finally realized who to answer to. I also learned how to measure success (spoiler: not by number of followers) and how to leverage that wonderful college tool called a syllabus. These creative commandments were my game-changers toward a fulfilling creative life.

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Documenting vs. Art and the Pursuit of the Project

When I get behind the lens of my camera it’s for one of three reasons: to document daily life, to capture a symbol that is meaningful to me or to contribute to an ongoing project. I like when these overlap, I like when they don’t. Instead of exploring theoretical differences, I discuss how I subjectively approach these different forms in practical terms as a photographer.

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The Seed of the Work

I once heard Maurice Sendak, illustrator of Where The Wild Things Are say that for him, "the needle is stuck in childhood." Me too, Maurice. The themes in our work revolve magnetically around the themes of childhood. My impulse to photograph families comes from a seed that until now was felt but unintelligible to me. Prompted by an exercise in the Teethkiss Workshop by Anna Palmer, in this episode I follow this question around the room of my childhood home: What is the seed of the work?

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