Greg my mentor stresses that it’s not good enough to make pictures, they need to be beautiful. As the semester comes to a close, I feel I’ve not made many beautiful images; save the one here at the top of the page. I lost my way a bit this semester, my work lacks a focus. I consider most of the images I shot this semester studies; preparations for more structured work to come. I now think I’m able to form a plan and start working in new ways.

As always with my work, I struggle to find a cohesive project. To end the semester, Greg suggested I photograph my partner, Tom, exclusively as he felt that series of work has the most direction and focus. Through April and May I will continue to photograph him, and rethink some of my images from earlier this year. The work with Tom deals with some sensitive issues, which is why Greg wants me to work with those issues. Much of the imagery deals with death.

Photographers I love

Recently I’ve been inspired by the portrait work of Deanna Lawson, Mike Spano’s graphic digital photography, the iphone images of Ruddy Roye, the art direction of Tierney Gearon’s work, and the photojournalism and color of Niko J. Kallianiotis. All of these artists create images that are bodies of work, serial images. I aspire to do the same.


Below is goal list based on my work with Greg and some ideas of my own:

  • Better light, choose my locations better
  • Shore up my technical skills, no over exposures or blurry images
  • Less vertical
  • Less straight
  • Add elements that are more deliberate
  • My art direction, planning and images all need to come up a notch
  • Work with intent
  • Find a community to photograph
  • No more haphazard shooting, don’t rely on luck
  • Control the process and the images
  • Work in color
  • Sketch with other cameras, but shoot all final work medium format
  • Closing Thoughts

    I’m conflicted over my work this semester as I can’t figure out what kind of a photographer I am. I know I’m not a photojournalist, but part of me gravitates to situations that are spontaneous. While I realize planning is a worthwhile practice, I need to figure out how that works for me. I don’t want to create over posed images I don’t think. I’m not sure and am in a bit of creative muddle as the images I plan are ones Greg finds the most successful.

    I’ve not photographed any strangers this spring. It’s only in the past few weeks with the arrival of milder weather that have people been outside again. I hope to start again if I haven’t lost my nerve. I want to make images that are authentic. I just need to figure out what I mean by that.

    For the remaining weeks before the residency, I’ve contacted some new models and will work on a short series of planned images. I hope to have those for the residency. I looking for someone to connect me with a photojournalist as I would like to see if I can shadow one for a day or two. I’m interested developing skills that will give me access to more people and learning some photojournalistic techniques.

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