Monday, April 20, 2009

Mirror Me at the DIA

Every Friday night the Detroit Institute of Arts presents live music in the Diego Rivera Court. My friend Pat and I are often in attendance. Thank god we were last Friday for we heard one of the most original experimental jazz trios around. And it was the first time these three musicians--Thollem McDonas on piano, Joel Peterson on bass and Skeeter C.R. Shelton on sax--had ever performed together! Such magic! They go by the name Box Deserter Trio and are now on a two-week tour. If you can see them, do. I was so enthralled I drove to Ann Arbor to see them perform on Saturday night at the Kerrytown Concert House. A totally different sound but equally mesmerizing.

After Friday night's performance, these fellows kindly participated in my "Mirror Me" project. This photo is of Detroit-based Skeeter Shelton who plays a mean sax. To see a tight edit of the mirror photos I took all over Manhattan a few weeks ago, simply go to my website at and click on "Mirror Me NYC" in the dropdown menu under Portfolios.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mirror Me at the Conservatory

On Saturday I spent a magical three hours taking photos for my Mirror Me project at Detroit's Belle Isle Conservatory. The holiday weekend had brought out many families so I had lots of interesting subjects. Have I told you how much I love working on this new project? Yes, I guess I have. But my love of it grows each time I go out on a photo shoot, for what I find is that it gives EVERYONE joy, not just me. Now, how many photo projects just plain make people happy? And using the mirror as a prop seems to cut right through people's self consciousness in front of a camera. They're so busy trying to see me reflected in the camera that they forget to put on their "camera smiles."

Now this kind of shooting does take a lot of energy. It's relational as well as photographic as I am always engaged with my subjects. But that's what I love about it: I'm meeting so many wonderful people. Oh yes, I can already see that this will be a long-term project!

To see a tight edit of the mirror photos I took all over Manhattan last week, simply go to my website at and click on "Mirror Me" in the dropdown menu under Portfolios.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Mirror Me"

TA it is, my new project! To see a tight edit of the mirror photos I took all over Manhattan last week, simply go to my website at and click on "Mirror Me" in the dropdown menu under Portfolios. I also took mirror pics at my niece's wedding in New Jersey a week ago today, and have been adding to my collection every day since returning home to Detroit last Sunday night. I already have over 100 photos that I like!

The idea for Mirror Me came full-blown on the long drive to NYC on Monday, March 30. I'd been wracking my brain for months trying to come up with an idea for a new project since I knew my Falling Into Place and Active Elders projects--both of which can be seen in part on my website--were winding down. But it wasn't until my friend Pat--who is pictured here in Times Square--said she would be interested in a project that explored why people live where they do, that a lightbulb went off in my head. It was her saying, "Where people choose to live REFLECTS who they are," that set off my creative fire. Thanks, dear Pat, for being my Muse! When we got to New York, I went to a CVS pharmacy, bought a cheap plastic handmirror and I was off and running...

I ADORE THIS PROJECT!!! It lets me approach strangers and engage with them. I've heard such amazing stories. I can do it any place, any time and with any person I choose. How perfect is that??? I plan to stay with this project for many many months, maybe even a year, and at the end? Of course I already see the book!

I wrote a brief introduction describing what happens with this project. Let me quote:

We look into mirrors to see ourselves. But when I give people my mirror, I ask that they look not at themselves but at my face instead. Thus my mirror becomes a way of communicating not with self but with another.

For a social worker-turned-photographer like me, what could be more perfect?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

late afternoon in Central Park

Oh my but we had a FABULOUS time in New York!!! I've been hard at work with tons of pics since returning home late Sunday so that's why I've neglected you, my dear friends. Please forgive me. Some of the pics I'm working on are those I took at my niece's wedding in New Jersey on Saturday, but my REAL excitement is about the brand new photo project I started in New York and am continuing here in Michigan. I'm going to keep it to myself for awhile but, trust me, it is TOO COOL FOR WORDS! I can't stop thinking about it. Here we go again...