Sunday, May 31, 2009

at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival

Once in a while--a VERY long while--it happens. "It" being the good fortune of seeing one of your all-time best shots appear out of nowhere. Of course we all hope this will happen every time we click the shutter release button, but does it? Hell, no. If I get one of these shots a year I'm happy...ecstatic actually.

As for this particular image, I don't really know how I managed to capture this composition, why the colors are so vibrant, why there is such a life and energy to the whole. All I know is that I feel grateful, oh so grateful to be a photographer. Can't imagine anything I'd rather be doing with my life.

Now, I must say a huge thank you to this beautiful young woman with her sense of drama and Cleopatra profile for agreeing to participate in my Mirror Me project. It is because of her that this image sings...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a time to celebrate

Is there anything sweeter in the world than a friend who celebrates when you celebrate, weeps when you weep, and listens when you need to talk. Pat Kolon is that kind of friend. On Friday I visited her and we started by sharing what's been going on in our lives. I then received a marvelous massage, followed by a delicious dinner including fresh asparagus from the garden. After dinner I showed her my newly published "Falling Into Place" Blurb book, the one I hope to present to book publishers for their consideration at the Look3 Photo Festival in June. Her reaction stunned me. She cradled the book in her arms and tears welled up in her eyes. She said, "Your baby has been born!"

Pat has been with me from the start of this self portrait project. She's also listened to all my stories about the ongoing saga that was the "Road Trips" blog and is now Burn Magazine online. Pat drove with me to New York in October and April for photography-related meetings with David Alan Harvey, my mentor on this project. She even attended a slideshow/fiesta at his Brooklyn loft in October. In short, she's followed this leg of my journey as an always-understanding companion.

So yesterday Pat held my "baby" in her arms and wept with joy. And then she went through it page-by-page noting things I'd never noticed in several of the photos and carefully reading every word of the text. Her sighs and smiles and murmurs were like music to my soul. All the months of hard, often solitary, work washed away and in their place was left the feeling that it had all been worth it.

What a friend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

in the Detroit Zoo butterfly house

I've been a WILD WOMAN shooting everyone and everyplace for my Mirror Me project!!! Every weekend since starting this project in New York City five weeks ago, I've gone off on multi-hour photo shoots. They've taken me to Detroit's Belle Isle Conservatory, the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Detroit's Eastern (Farmers) Market, two gatherings of my women's community--one in Ontario and the other in Michigan--and yesterday to the Detroit Zoo. I am ADORING every minute! I get to go up to anyone I want, ask to take their picture and hear a bit of their story. A good number of them then email me and I send them a copy of their pic. Of the hundreds and hundreds of people I've approached, only a few have declined my invitation to be part of this project. Adults, children, elders, teens and persons of all ethnicities are represented. I already have about 270 possible "keepers" and am planning to keep at it for a year. Oh yes, to answer your unspoken question, I VERY MUCH see this as a book.

Friday, May 1, 2009

the ongoing evolution of Detroit

After reading in this morning's paper about Chrysler going into bankruptcy, I had to go downtown and just wander around my city. I started and basically stayed around the Detroit River. This is where it all started for this city on the straits--de troit in french--and it's where a lot of our history still stands, some of it just barely. Like these old warehouses and industrial buildings two blocks north of the river. I don't know why but seeing them today comforted me greatly, especially with the GM headquarters building glittering like a jewel in the distance. Maybe it was because this juxtaposition speaks to Detroit's ability to weather change, to keep rising like a phoenix from the ashes. So now the Motor City phase of our history is probably on its way out. But I'm sure the folks who saw these old buildings fall into disuse felt sad too. I ask myself, what's next? Something will come along because Detroit never gives up. We just keep redefining ourselves generation after generation. So even if we only have the Big Two, and in a month might be down to the Big One, Detroit is still alive, still fighting, still creating, still evolving. We'll make it...