I'm just gonna say it.
This blog is a place for me to play.
The other parts of this site are very serious. It's important to me that every picture in my portfolio is perfect. It's important to me that words and images in artist statement and on the front page expertly convey who I am. Those bits need to be precise and accurate, but it is also important that there be a place in my photographs for images that are interesting but not symetrical, or underexposed but emotional, or funny but not perfect. it's important to me that there be a place here to play.
I'm telling you and I'm telling myself because somethings when I write it's hard to quiet my inner critic. I think, that picture should extend down furthur, or I should cut that cos it's not exactly right. Or haven't I shown this kind of work before. I grumble to myself, people will click the link and then roll their eyes, who does she think she is? These are not that great.
Maybe these pictures are great by any standards or maybe they are just good or heaven forbid they might even sometimes be mediocre or subpar but they are me. They are mine. They are playful and fun and funny and practice and growing and beautiful and wonderful and ME. And I will not silence them in the name of the perfection monster.
I've been asking this question a lot on social media lately, can a marketing campaign and a place to grow and change and explore one's artistic failures in the name of learning Co-Exist? Are they inherantly antithetical to each other? Do they cancel each other out or cause each other to die?
I'm interested in my not-perfect pictures because I believe they will lead to more perfect pictures but if I listen to them. I wonder about the cost of working this way. Does my willingness to be in process mean that my marketing will whither and die because people aren't interested in buying an artist that's on a learning journey? It's easy to look at photographers who have been in the business twenty years and think they have it all figured out and that's what client's want. Someone with no questions only answers.
And maybe client's do want that. That's fair. To want to hire someone SUPER competent. And yet I can't and I won't fake it. I can't lie about where I am in my process. I'm 3/4 of the way through my first year of business. I am definitely learning. I know more than I did but not as much as I hope I do this time next year. And sometimes I even believe that it's ok. That I don't need to impress you. That I just need to show up and work.
Sometimes I believe that my pictures are good enough.
So here are some good-enough pictures. On Mothers Day we went to West Seattle Bowl. It was rainy and drizzly in Seattle and the picnic and bonfire we had planned didn't sound as fun anymore when we looked out the window. So we improvised. The tiny one has been begging for bowling basically forever and West Seattle Bowl has brunch included which we grownups knew we were going to need for fuel.
I had spent all week in discussion with the super talented Julia Coddington's images of her local pool. She talked about how it was a place she went all the time and so she was able to build relationships and hone her vision. I was feeling more inspired that usual by strangers and by the intricacies of street photography (which is more about grabbing a quick shot than it is about the going deeper and deeper with your subject the way documentary photography has traditionally been.) So I photographed my tiny and my man and I photographed the kinds of people who bowl and who hang out at the bowling alley doing 8 games and drinking red wine on a Sunday morning. None of these pictures are going in my professional portfolio, but they are going in my family album and they are sure as hell going in my memory because it was a WONDERFUL way to spend a new day, with a new lens and a tiny dude with a new passion for bowling.