Friday, June 28, 2013

Photo Fellowship and Creative Narcissism

I love taking pictures. Like most people with a phone nowadays, I like to capture moments, big and small. It seems to have taken over the world, this taking photos of the mundane and the impressive all the time. So much so that I'm reading a British mystery novel and the detectives decided that the murder victim in the story must have had something to hide because they couldn't find any photos saved on her phone. (Message I took from this, take plenty of photos to avoid being murdered.) I love playing around with light and locations and angles and filters. I love taking pictures of food that I make. I don't care if this makes me corny or an over-sharer. I like it. I'm married to a semi-professional photographer, so photo equipment is around our house all the time. I have full access to any myriad of professional lens and camera bodies, remotes and flashes and triggers. But I always go back to my phone. It's easy. It's fast and with a few apps, I've got a timer, a multi shot option, and all of the filters and photo shop that I can imagine, right at my finger tips.

I often think that I should ask my husband to give me a few classes on photography, mostly to master some of his fancy equipment. I do alright when I use his stuff. But it's intimidating. It's heavy. It's infinitely breakable. There are a thousand dials and gauges and numbers. And it scares me off. I had a couple of photo classes in high school and I'm decent with the technology, but I could be so much better. But nope, I wimp out, and go for the iPhone.

This week was 7 Days, the summer round of the quarterly self-portrait photo group that I've been a part of for the last few years. Other like minded photographers, many of them incredibly talented and creative people, take one photo each day for 7 days, they have to set up the shot, have some part of the themselves in the shot, and then post the shot to the group for lots of commenting and sharing and general photo nerd fellowship. It's a lot of fun. And it forces creativity. It forces embarrassing looks from strangers as you take photos of yourself in public places. It forces me to look at myself and my environment differently every day. And it forces inspiration. Which is a good thing. I get inspired by the interesting and varied takes on the two themes for each session, and by the sheer number of gorgeous or funny or sweet photos that we all share. So as 7 Days comes to a close today, here are the 7 shots from my 7 days round. (All iPhone shots, of course, cause I'm a lazy little photo equipment wimp!)

Day 1: I Melt with You
It's June, so it's hot. Really quite warm. And I have a love hate relationship with the heat and sun. So I'm in the shade with a time travel novel and a large iced coffee this afternoon, trying not to melt away.  

Day 2: 'Cause, Baby, You're a Firework
Today's theme was "Music-Inspired." I have a guilty pleasure. Belting out Katy Perry tunes while washing my hair. Don't tell anyone, ok?

Day 3: Mac Puppy Dog and I are watching The Real Housewives of Orange County
My book club just left. We watched Life of Pi since we read the book for our last meeting. All the intensity of the movie tired us out. So now the dog and I are relaxing with horrible reality TV. Mac loves the OC ladies. Don't judge him.

Day 4: Fancy Business Ladies Like Beer too
I had a late board meeting presentation for a client tonight, (I help nonprofits with fundraising planning) in Lawrence, KS, about 45 minutes from us in Kansas City. Joe and I attended the University of Kansas there, met, became best friends, then fell in love, got smarter, etc.

So since my meeting was fairly short, he came with me and we made it a date night. Visited our old favorite places, reminisced, wandered around and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with a late dinner at Freestate Brewery. A good meeting, a good date and a good beer.

Day 5: Almost Always Better Than the Book
Today's theme was "Movie-Inspired."
I just want to read tonight. So I did.

Day 6: Down by the River
We had a delicious dinner with friends tonight, in the coolest little downtown area of Kansas City, right near the river. I love it down here. And with cool storm clouds and shiny wet streets, I enlisted my favorite Joe Sands tripod and took a few shots running across the street and up and down the cobblestone sidewalks like a weirdo. 7 Days is always good for pushing me out of my comfort zone and reminding me that strange looks from passersby are a badge of honor in this group.

Day 7: They're Watching You
This abstract print hangs in my office on the wall behind my chair. Now and then it feels like little abstract eyes are watching my back. Except then on days when my brain feels fried from too much grant writing, they look like nipples. Maybe they're supposed to be nipples? I can't tell. And that's what's fun about abstract art. Might be nipples, might be eyes. Who knows? So I leave you with that, nipples or eyes, you decide. See you this fall, gang!

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I love these photos. I saw them on Flickr - so good! Especially the shower shot.