Coelho-Curtis wedding, Oct 1st, 2008.
I wanted to tell you about the wedding I shot 2 weeks ago. And how that experience totally blew me away. I wanted to tell you how I felt the butterflies in my stomach. How I planned and schemed to do the best job I could. How I got on site earlier, just so I could research the best picture spots and test all the different exposures for areas of dim light, natural light or tungsten. I wanted to tell you that I felt so alive in that experience, and that when it was over, I almost felt like crying. I felt a release of all that good energy pouring over me. A sense of pride. I wanted to tell you that the marrying couple responded really well to my work. That they made me feel like I was making a concrete contribution to their story. I wanted to tell you that you too, need to explore those opportunities. That you too need to do what you love in your own circles. You need to give it a go. You need to get out of your head and put yourself out there, among friends, doing it. I wanted to tell you that you need to feel that tightness in your stomach, when you’re about to leap. You need to feel it, just so you learn that it is different from fear.You need to feel it, to realize that the tightness is the confirmation that you’ve found a passion that moves you. You need to feel it so you know you’ve reached that fire in your core. A core that burns to show you that the spark is well alive inside you, and that it wants to rise. I wanted to tell you that when you challenge yourself to be in those “dream” situations, regardless of how well you do, you’ll be flying. Regardless of how well you do, you’ll know that you can get better at it. You’ll want to hold onto that clarity. You need to write your feelings down. You’ll want to remember that you can actually do it. That it is only a matter of doing it, then doing more of it… Not a matter of not being fit to do so.
I wanted to tell you also, about the Burning Man photos. I wanted to tell you that this time, I only took an Holga to Burning Man. I wanted to tell you that I had never used an Holga before. I wanted to tell you that I was scared of not having one shot to tell the story. And I wanted to tell you that instead of taking more shots to get a better chance at it, I took less. I caved in. I wanted to tell you that pulling back totally backfired, because actually, the pictures that I did take, amazed me in such ways… I wanted to tell you that Holga and I see eye to eye. I wanted to tell you Holga and I have a thing for saturated colors and vignetting. We both like visual poetry. I wanted to tell you that it was a nice change from digital editing and retouching. That I enjoyed reconnecting with the mystery of shooting film. That it brought back the lesson of trusting my eye and really honoring each shot. I wanted to tell you that when I was about to open the pack of photos in my car, outside the Lab, I felt like a kid on a Christmas morning. I had the anticipation, the grin, the excitement to see what I was going to get. I wanted to tell you that I shouted out loud when I saw the first photo, and again, when I saw the next, and the next. That I was so freaking pleased with the results. And that I don’t mean that my pictures were spectacular… But that I was so moved by the process, by the playfulness of using this new toy, and by seeing those sweet moments I captured. Why was I so afraid to play at first? I also wanted to tell you that when I shared those pictures, some folks were complimentary and others were dismissive. That even those who liked the images, were 90% short of my own commotion. I wanted to tell you that nobody feels how we feel about our own Art. That we need to do what calls us, what feeds us, with complete abandon. That we need to do it for ourselves first and foremost. That we need to do it without too much pondering. I wanted to tell you also, that sadly, most of the time, I loose sight of Art as an extension of my being. That I get caught up in trying to figure out what craft will allow me to make a living off of it. What skill will make me successful. What media will allow me to be most seen and most accepted as an artist. But still, I wanted to tell you, that none of that matters. No matter what pays the bills, no matter how many relate to our ways of expressing… What really does matter is how we feel, how we are simply uplifted by those instances, in which we see ourselves revealed.That what matters is having more and more of those encounters with ourselves. When we feel connected and engaged with life. When we are sitting in our car, with a pack of 12 photos taken with a toy camera, and we know who we are. That is what counts. Not what happens afterward. Response is only a bonus for the ego.
And there is so much more I wanted to tell you… But somehow I got through this post, telling you so much already. Truth is that when I sat here this morning, all I could think of was how much I wanted to tell you…And yet, how it all seemed irrelevant, as I bathed in this beautiful and golden October light.
And you? Anything you want to tell me?
Anything you got.
I’d love to know…