Many of you know that I recently started to explore why the heck I am doing photography. I know I am doing commercial work because I love to collaborate with other people to capture joy filled events. That’s pretty obvious and all good. But there has been a nagging curiosity of why am I a making photographs for myself and why do I keep creating fine art work. Until recently it has seemed to be because I love my family, the ocean, the beach and sailing and want to photograph all that good stuff. Well, over the last several days, I have uncovered an entirely new understanding about my photography that is incredibly insightful and exciting.
I am definitely more thrilled about what is happening in my work inside my mind and heart than I can explain. I am still passionate about working with all the amazing clients that I have and am looking forward to a wonderful commercial shoot for CHOC next week, but, I can’t explain what a relief it is to finally have a seed planted that I have been looking for for over 25 years.
When I look back at my life, everything has been a conscious choice to experience vulnerability: traveling alone by train in Europe, climbing the highest mountains of CA & Mexico, moving to CO with no ideas what I would do when I got there, crossing the Pacific in a 38′ sailboat, the deep & emotional relationship with the man I married. It’s hard to explain how I know these things did not just happen to me. I chose these experiences and asked for them to come into my life. They were all part of the big plan. But that’s another topic I think.
So, I came to the realization that I have spent the better part of my life getting up close and personal with what it’s like to be vulnerable. I have put myself in extremely challenging situations so I can go through personal growth. I have always been aware that I tend to break things in my life to make them better and stronger but I haven’t given it much credit as influential to my art, until now.
Now when I look at my photographs I see vulnerability in almost every single image I’ve made that I have a strong connection with. I witness and embrace the familiar: the fragility of me, of the environment, of my children, of my husband and even of my clients. We are all subject to vulnerability but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I see it as beauty. Being vulnerable is an important part of growth and understanding and experiencing life. What this weakness affords all of us is the ability to learn compassion and empathy for others.