Shooting with my best friend has been a long time coming. In town from LA for the holidays, we spent quite a lot of time brainstorming what we could create while she was here. Having little to no daylight and space to shoot, I was so stumped on how to execute anything good in my cramped, poorly lit room. Using my shade as a backdrop and bouncing light from a desk lamp, I was totally schooled on how to recreate studio lighting with the humblest of resources. Game changer. Thank god I have smart friends.
I came down with a cold on Christmas Day and, I have to admit, the cold medicine probably helped orchestrate the overall weirdness of the photos. We made her a dress out of bubble wrap and were pleasantly surprised to see how well it translated on camera. We loved the alien look the shadows and highlights formed and how the bubble wrap worked with her shape and decided to run with it. We agreed that it was too much fun to stop with just these photos and when I visit her in California, more will be taken. Happy accidents are always sweeter with the best people.
This warm October has been ideal for shooting outside, though I wish I could say I had more of an opportunity to do so. After work, I drove over to the Cumberland Monastery and Cumberland Public Library today to shoot. It was beautiful and colorful and the leaves were so active and energized. I wandered around the trails and the gardens on the grounds and found interesting little things to preoccupy myself with. I sank back into my own head for a while and untied some mental knots. The disjointedness of the past few weeks has been exhausting but noticing how the elements of the world beyond me fit together with such unity somehow assured me of my own questions. It sounds so Thoreauvian of me to acknowledge all of this but it's undeniable that spending time walking around and looking at and thinking about things other than ourselves will eventually trigger a connection that will put something into complete perspective.
I think I'll head back to the Monastery sometime soon to shoot again. It felt good to go out alone.
For the past three days, I've been promising myself that I'd get up and out to do some shooting. I've been down, exhausted and discouraged with my work lately but it felt nice to spend the time alone to do something productive. The legs on what would be my third tripod broke and my wireless remote is not so responsive with my 7D so I had very limited options for what i wanted to do today.
Self portraits have always been a safe place for me, though they're not very easy. It's a complicated relationship to explain seeing as I'm actually quite shy when being photographed by someone else. Call it exercises in identity, call it what you will, but the reflexive sense of familiarity and control both in front and behind the camera give me the same rush of endorphins, the same euphoric feeling as 30 minutes of level 10-ing on the cross trainer downstairs. Whatever it is, self portraits hold a certain protected place in my practice and in my art.
I liked the way the sun was shining on a lilac bush behind my house so I decided to see what I could do with it.
While editing these, I was listening to a playlist I created made up of CocoRosie songs. This song in particular, titled "Animals," exactly matched my mood during and after this shoot. Listen to it to see what I mean.
|I was startled to recognize how much I look like my mother in this one.|
I've been in a bit of a funk lately. The weather has been unpredictable but warm so I decided to make use of the rest of my free time and explore my parents' garden. Since a lot of our vegetables and herbs are homegrown and my stepmother has a pretty impressive flower garden, I thought it would all look nice on camera.
I realize that May is a paradox. Endings and beginnings. It has always been a hard month with leaving school and uprooting myself to live back at home, changing jobs, changing pace. It has always lead to a contradictory bout of blues. The closing of a school year and the start of summer. Warm but away.
This May, May 2012, is the May that I leave a special place forever. The May of Finiteness. Graduation Month. I've been mulling this over in my head for a few months now. It's been an on-and-off battle. I've tied some ends, embraced the idea of maturity and transitioned myself out of the childlike mindset of gravitating toward pillowy places and began looking for something harder, something less forgiving: The Real World. I decided not to get drunk every weekend, not out of any conscious choice but out of taste. I would have much rather seen Ira Glass speak in Keene than go to SAC FEST 2012 YEAHBUDDY. But my mood depended on the day. You'd catch me on a Monday, ready to take on resumes and the failing economy. I was eager to kick some ass. By Friday, however, I'd be looking for a nap, a drink and the comfort of knowing that I had friends three seconds away. A place to fall that wouldn't skin my knees. College.
Skirmish and settlement.
I ended my finals two weeks ago and moved back home. I slept in and sent out numerous resumes. I called people. I visited my best friend for two short days, talked about jobs, cried and decided that I needed to change my mind about things. I ordered a chai, rubbed my eyes, and exhaled. I was ready to take on May again.
I spent a week and a half out of my house, bouncing from floor to floor, bed to bed, and traveled up to New Hampshire to visit Saint Anselm for one last hurrah. I drank champagne, hugged a lot of people, laughed and then I graduated. Just like that. It's still a little strange knowing that the bubble of college naiveté kicked me out. It considered me ready. Ripe but still so green.
Regardless, the ceremonies were absolutely beautiful.
I'm writing this as I crash from the weekend high. I have just over a week before I start my postgrad, non-career job. Tomorrow I'll force myself to exercise and shoot photographs. Maybe I'll unpack just a little bit, so my room won't be so claustrophobic. Maybe I'll write a few letters too. Those help.
Bitter yet optimistic.
Being a broke college student has its perks, cheap day trips to New York for example. Even though we had to wake up and board the bus at 6am, the pain of being up and tired and cold was worth it... And, well, since we decided to stay up and not actually sleep, which really didn't work since I ended up passing out/napping at 4am, we were indeed tired, grumpy and cold.
We arrived in the city around 11 and were dropped off in front of the Met. The scheduled events and essential purpose of the trip were to be held in the Met but we had our own plan. Ever since I heard about Cindy Sherman's solo show at the MoMA, I had been dying to see it, and this was the perfect opportunity. The rebellious and fun part of these trips is avoiding the Professor's eyes as we take off in the opposite direction after getting off the bus. We had planned to meet up with Kat, who had moved to a cute little flat in Manhattan earlier this March, so off we went walking around Central Park to Columbus Circle.
It was everything I had hoped for. Seeing Kat, getting into the MoMA for free (courtesy of Kat's hook ups), oogling 9-foot Cindy Sherman prints, having a falafel from a Halal cart, holding hands in the city, meeting Keenan, kissing in Central Park... it's everything I wanted.
|Kat and Kate's apartment was lovely. Though they were still figuring out the dynamics of their space, they still managed to create such a fascinatingly cozy abode.|
|They found that living like they were in Japan was the most economical in such a tight space.|
|Loose leaf earl grey brewed as strong as coffee is the norm.|
|The cat bed.|
|The happy cat.|
|So happy. This show was extremely intense.|
|Of course we had to stop in Uniqlo. Though the experience was a bit overwhelming, even for a second time visit, I still think the Americanized-Japanese-kitsch aesthetic is charming.|
|I finally met his best friend. It was quite the hilarious happening.|
|His best friend's girl was a sweetheart too.|