our role in history

a couple weeks ago, steph shared this amazing photograph with me (beyond the obvious capture of the moment, there's such awesome timing and composition). the photo was taken mid-february 1975, when mike (steph's husband) was about 10 weeks old. mike's dad, bill, was coming back from a six-month deployment on the USS independence, where bill was an A7 corsair II jet pilot, doing his department head tour.

and then there's this photo, taken december 18th 2010 of mike's homecoming, from being deployed six months.  he, too, met his baby for the first time, at 10 weeks old.  and mike, too, is a fighter pilot, who was doing his department head tour.

i feel so incredibly blessed to have captured this image for the beaty family.  hopefully it will be a photograph that will be treasured and passed down for generations, just as above photo from 1975 has.


my friends and i have talked a lot about photographs and their role in history, especially those coming from professional, editorial, etc. photographers. what's real? what's not? what has been altered? what's been added? the thought of photographers altering the photographic documentation of history is upsetting.  are they documenting history at all? or creating their own history, in a sense.

although i have to admit...sadly, i am guilty.  i'm not sure my kids have many photos that haven't been altered in some way (contrast added, a pimple removed, etc.). and yes, that makes me sad. damn it.

hmmm...maybe that's an idea to start this year.  in my family's annual book, i will include at least one completely unaltered photo of each of my kids.  i like the idea of the photo being of them non-smiling.  just them being them. kind of like this...

found via pinterest.  amazing, huh?!! quite a brilliant idea. i couldn't find the exact source for the above photo collage, but when i clicked it from my pinterest, it took me to this blog.

yes, i will definitely do that. at least one photo. it's a start. and i think i'll make that one photo film.

ETA: my sweet friend, erin, just posted a comment about the 'perfect shot' and i can't tell you how guilty i am of that so i wanted to add here.  i long to let go. to be free. it was actually one of my monthly resolution topics -- LET GO (being less perfect) -- to capture the everything just the way it is. stepping back and capturing more of the scene is something i am going to really try and work on this year. thanks for sharing erin. love you friend.

a portrait commission

check out this auction... portrait commission by edward mapplethorpe (younger brother of robert mapplethorpe) baby must be 11-13 months at time of commission commission to take place sep 7, 2010 - jun 7, 2011, in NYC one 24x20 gelatin silver print, selected by artist (proofs not shown to client) market value: $10,000

images copyright edward mapplethorpe


reading the auction details brought me back to when i first started photography and attended cheryl jacob's workshop, in august 2006. i remember it like it was yesterday because it was a big turning point for me -- my aha moment -- where i realized i didn't need to be like everyone. it's okay to be different.  it's okay to just be me. at the workshop, cheryl suggested,

i think you should try something different; you should offer client sessions, where the goal is to produce only one or two large, framed prints.

one or two enlargement offerings, with one or two prices.  that's it.

and that idea has fluttered around in the back of my head ever since -- wondering if that concept (that type of portrait offering) would be possible.  obviously it is for edward mapplethorpe, at a price of $10K.  OH-MY-GOSH!!  i'm no edward mapplethorpe, but the idea of giving complete trust to the artist, from beginning to end, is something to think about and admire.

and i had no idea that the mapplethorpes had such a difficult past.  the article reminded me of jackson pollock's troubled past (loved the movie pollock).  thankfully edward mapplethorpe was able to pull away and better himself before total self-destruction.


in celebration of photographing one-year-olds, i share with you P, who was one, in the photos below and is now almost four.  i will be photographing P (for the fourth time), along with her new little sister, in san diego next month.  i can't wait to see them again!! :-)

fall retreat announcement

i'm so excited to share that leah and i have just opened registration for our fall wallflower friends retreat. it's going to be held october 1st - 3rd at the majestical sundance resort, utah.  i really can't say enough about how amazing sundance is!! get all the retreat details here register here limited to 14 photographers

we've made a few changes and have some awesome surprises for this second workshop and...we can't wait!!

read some reviews from our spring retreat here

hope to see you in october!

view larger (better) image here