Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do Inquiring Minds Really Want to Know? Hope So.........

One of my intentions this year is to begin interviewing other photographers/artists and feature those interviews here on my blog. (Let me know if you would like to be included or know someone I should contact.)

Last month, STIGmed1a contacted me and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed for their new online magazine. I am always surprised (and honored) when this happens and it feels a little strange, but I said yes.

I decided to share this interview here because I really liked some of their questions and hope to incorporate a similar style when I conduct my own interviews. Of course they had the regular "tell us about yourself" questions, but they also challenged me to reflect a little deeper on a few different subjects.

Here is what the online version of the interview looks like. I think they did a good job of designing it. Because of the limited space, they did edit out a few of my answers so I thought I would include them here.

  1. How would you describe yourself personally? I am somewhat of an introvert. I don't really enjoy parties or large gatherings and would rather spend my time with my family, really good friends or by myself.
  2. How would you describe yourself as a photographer? My primary way of expressing myself through photography is by hand-coloring black and white photographs. In the last couple of years I started teaching that technique. Sharing my passion with other people is something I love to do! I am not what I consider a "technical" photographer. Equipment is not as important to me as it is with some photographers. I only recently embraced (and now love) digital photography. "Photo Artist" seems a better way to describe me.
  3. What led you to become a photographer? What is the story behind it? I started to take photography classes when my children were young. I fell in love with black and white photography, even going as far as to turn one of my bathrooms into a darkroom. This passion continued to surface when I went back to school to finish up my accounting degree so I could become a CPA. I took another photography class while at California State University Sacramento and made the decision to abandon the idea of ever becoming an accountant, quit school and took up photography full time. That was 17 years ago.
  4. How does photography define you? Photography is my passion and has helped get me through some difficult periods in my life. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I wasn't a photographer. It brings me joy.
  5. Who are the photographers that you admire? Can you name a few of their works and why their works inspire you? When I first started hand-coloring, I found the work of Jill Enfield and Thea Schrack very inspiring. There is an image that Jill Enfield made that I can't find the name of - it's an old building with open windows and curtains flowing out. She hand-colored the building using blues and oranges and I just loved the effect. I love Thea Schrack's images of San Francisco and again, her use of hand-coloring really excited me and made me want to learn as much as I could about the process.
  6. Favorite subject to shoot. Any scene that has the potential to evoke curiosity, and leave the viewer feeling calm and peaceful.
  7. Your dream project as a photographer- I am working on it right now - a book of floral images.
  8. If you can capture something that cannot be seen by the naked eye, what would it be? Hope
  9. What do you think is the important role of a photographer? Some would say to record events, but since that is not my type of photography, I would say the most important role of a photographer is to demonstrate how beauty can be found anywhere if you just look for it. Sometimes the simplest images are the most beautiful.
  10. Tips, insights or wisdom that you can impart to aspiring photographers. I would have to say learn to slow down and be selective about what you photograph. Try to develop a style that shows your unique vision of the world.
  11. In one word, how do you see the world as a whole? Shifting
You can read the whole issue here: Stigmedia 

Probably more than you wanted to know, but I am excited about conducting my own interviews and would love suggestions for subjects and questions. Inquiring minds want to know...........

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Word For The Year.......

This photo was taken the day after Christmas by my daughter with her iPhone.

I love having my children home and getting together with old friends and family during the holidays, but it can also get overwhelming and I find a feeling of "too much" seems to engulf my mind and spirit this time of year. It was my idea to visit the ocean (Marin Headlands, near San Francisco) so I could "wash off" this feeling, and it felt so good!

But that's not what this post is about. It's a new year and a natural time for goal setting, resolutions and reflection. I feel like I have already reflected on the past year enough and I am ready to move on.

If you spend any time in the blogosphere you have probably read a post or two about choosing a "word" for the year instead of making lists that could cause pain and frustration later. That's what I have decided to do - so my word is "Confidence". I believe that focusing on confidence will help me embrace the new year with passion and joy instead of worry and regret.

In my post last week, I mentioned a new site I am launching later this month. After I posted that, there was a moment where I wished I had just given the e-book away and let it go at that. But I didn't...........I love sharing my passion for photography, but branching out like this is uncomfortable. So I am going to go by the prescribed "feel the fear and do it anyway". I believe that stepping out of my comfort zone makes life a little more exciting, and I think I would be sorry if I played it safe all the time.

I am also keeping it simple this year. Besides my new "Photo Artistry Workshop" site, the only other plan I have for 2011 is to finish that floral book I have been talking about for way too long. Could my lack of confidence be behind my reluctance to work on that? Perhaps.........I usually use "lack of time" as my excuse, but in the end it would probably be more honest to say I am afraid. Afraid of it not being good, afraid that people will get mad at me for being too busy, (good friends won't get mad, but I spend a lot of time trying to make everyone happy) and afraid of......well, just afraid........So enough of that. It's time to act with confidence and determination and finish the book!

Just for the record, sharing that photo of me (it's also my facebook profile), took a little courage. The next big step will be putting myself before the video camera.........stay tuned.