I remember that she was there, and the breeze, and the light, and the wet sheen of the humid morning on her lip. I tried to get her to smile, wished for more wind, for something to release her from her Mona Lisa composure. I didn’t speak her language – she didn’t speak her own language, I don’t think. But I do think she was waiting for day, for love with the day, like a goddess out of reach, or a serene sort of nymph who had not yet wakened to the passion of the summer that already surrounded her.
Her eyes were limpid, pooled with calm, but I saw a spark. She didn’t know she had it, but there! I had found it, the fire that love would waken, the heat that would not be burned away as the sun absorbed the dew. The light came over the horizon, and she blinked in the day, a new born; she was coming alive now…
Someone told me last year to find a girl, a gown, and a good location with good light and shoot until I found my voice. So I took a deep breath, and I began a series of shoots to create images for my portfolio that speak my heart and not merely “what is expected of a photographer.” I have held onto these images for a long time while trying to decide about publication (it has felt like breath-holding – I’m a little afraid to exhale now), but I came to a decision after several publication rejections that these images need to be for me, and not for any blogger or other brand out there, except the brands with whom I shot.
I recognize that my work is not industry-standard photography. It has a feeling all its own, and I believe it can be easily overlooked by bloggers who are checking off a “portrait-gown-flowers-venue-details” inspiration post list. I shoot with both film and digital, and I often shoot only with a simple set and a big feeling that I am trying to put into the thousand words a picture affords me.
I love my images. My clients love my images. I know I am not less because I am not getting published. I know there is a place for my work. Right now, I don’t have the energy to find that place. I want to keep growing. I want to keep pushing myself beyond my defaults to make really amazing images that will eventually take me where I want to go with my camera.
Where do I want to go? I am still creating that picture, still looking at my dreams and my reality and praying about how they come together. I think maybe we will see it emerge as I keep posting here and doing what I love. It’s a risk for me to be quieter. To not clamor for attention and compete with the entire industry for money. To trust that God knows what He is doing as He is bringing me to life through my photography and my very messy life.
I hope you don’t mind walking with me as I take another deep breath and try being me, here with you, sharing my favorite things.