Last week I had a Zoom meeting with my mentor Greg Miller. We reviewed my work with models Suzi, Billy, Regina and brother-in-law Danny. In the review he noted that some of the images were going in a different direction and he wanted to know what that was about. He was worried that I had too many kinds of images and that the “Eileen” images, one that has my particular look and feel, weren’t apparent. I got the sense he was disappointed in the work.
It’s been a difficult semester for me creatively. The weather has been dreadful, so I wasn’t able to take many pictures of strangers outside. The models are great to work with, but I’m not at the point where I’ve connected with them enough to make more intimate portraits. This takes time. The models can be notoriously loosey-goosey.
In the process of making images, I started to think more about a personal trauma I had last summer. My partner became suicidal and admitted himself into a mental institution. I began to think about the imagery from that time period: water, repetition, lines, hallways, plastic furniture and the shapes people make with their bodies. Greg and discussed this and I will work with these ideas very soon. I spend this semester experimenting with different ideas and methods of portrait photography, and I feel I’ve improved greatly although my images are a bit lacking to date.
I also began attending salons with photographer at master printer Bob Korn’s at Gallery Upstairs. I’ve met two extraordinary photographers and we discussed out work and had an informal critiques. Bob is also making prints of my work for the June residency, and has offered me a gallery show later this year.
This summer I plan to take a pinhole camera workshop with Marian Roth at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. I will also head up to Maine Media Workshop for a workshop in portraits in natural light. I take better pictures in the summer, so I’m looking forward to better weather and put some of my new ideas into process.