a personal photography project & journal



Nikon d800 85mm Settings: ISO 500 f/5 SS 1/15

Nikon d800 85mm Settings: ISO 500 f/5 SS 1/15

Guys… this post won’t be like previous posts. Because I am not like the person who was previously writing. The past year has been such a transformative time for me & while I’ve been mostly quiet here for reasons I discussed in Rain, the undeniable truth is this: I am forever changed in the most humbling & exquisite way possible.

I don’t often discuss the minute details of my images. Like, the fact that there is so much more going on than simply what you see. Where I am, what I’m wearing, how I’m sitting… there’s all so much more story than what I simply write.

I’ve never talked about how music plays a part in my writing & images. Without question I can say that music & lyrics have the ability to move me more than anything else. More often than not, I am listening to a song when I’m taking my images or - a song has prompted some kind of emotion for me & that has been the catalyst to bring out my camera & begin shooting. All of my titles are either pulled directly from song titles or influenced by lyrics.

The juxtaposition of the details in this image are so ironic. I’m living in my basement. There’s a marshmallow on the carpet from when my 14 year old had a sleepover with some other 14 year old friends & they decided to have some kind of fun involving throwing marshmallows all over my basement at some early am hour because 14 year old boys are just fucking amazing in every way.

I’m not wearing makeup. Hair hasn’t been washed in about 3 days. I actually hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet. I would end up being a few minutes late to meet my trainer at the gym because the light was just so damn good I couldn’t walk away before taking a series of images (& being late is something i absolutely hate)… but my smile couldn’t be more genuine & real. My happiness couldn’t be more genuine & real. My heart, my peace, my understanding, my love, my openness, my grounding, my resolve couldn’t be more genuine & real. It is all firm. Rooted. Absolute. And I can’t escape this Gregory Alan Isokov song lyric:

Broken bottles shine just like stars, make a wish anyway
Just your smile lit a sixty-watt bulb in my house
That was darkened for days
Been thinking you probably should stay…

I now know how brightly I burn. I think, for a long time, it’s something other people have probably seen in me but it wasn’t something I could see in myself. I’ve opened up a space inside my chest & I just can’t stop blazing. I burn so bright. Maybe too bright for some but that’s ok.

A couple of months ago I was asked to write a piece for my friends at The dKol la femme Project. It ended up being one of the pieces I might be most proud of up to this moment & I think it’s because I am finally in a place where I can be reflective & not just reactive. I can’t wait to share more of it with you so please, begin reading Sixty-Watt here & then head over to The dKol la femme Project blog to finish reading the rest.

Thanks for being here,

The road to vulnerability is a long one.

I kept trying to think of how to start this post & when I sat back, got still & closed my eyes, this was the truth that spoke to me. The road to vulnerability is a long one. Not static. Not easy. Not without cost. Not without the brilliant dichotomy of beauty & tragedy. The shedding of skin. Transformation. Losing oneself to an identity you may have spent years building & the subsequent unexpected grief that accompanies that loss. As the former you clings, wails, weeps & gnashes her teeth, desperate to subdue the old you. You are no longer her. You cannot be. But the new you, this brittle, damp, weakling who startles at most everything, can this really be you?

Here, in these most darkest of moments, is where you begin to become the you that you were always meant to be. She was dormant so many years, cocooned in a soft casing of her own making but here, the air is crisp, new & full of possibility. Here, is where you finally allow yourself to take flight & be free…

Please head over to The dKol la femme Project blog to continue reading Sixty-Watt.