For the past 10 weeks I have been honored to work along side Catherine Just and 10 amazing women photographers to create a body of work in a master photography class called Into the Deep. I have known Catherine for many years but this was only the second time I have taken a course from her. By spending some time every day making and photographing the world around me, I have been able to strengthen my creative practice, something that it so important for artists of any medium.
Throughout the process Catherine challenged us to view as much photography and art as we could. This is something I do anyway on a weekly basis but Catherine opened my eyes to additional photographers that I did not previously know about. Cig Harvey was one such artist. I was drawn to her work because we both shoot mainly in a square format and her subject matter of home, nature and family were intriguing to me. Her handmade photo books are beautiful pieces of art in their own right and something I aspire to create more of with my work.
For Into the Deep, my subject matter included Reno/Tahoe, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I live in the Reno/Tahoe area but am constantly drawn to San Francisco and LA for work, family and play and have a deep love and longing to live back in the city.
All the photographs for this project are black and white and I chose to exclude myself from the images. It was important to me to be able to evoke a feeling and sense of longing through what I was seeing in the camera. Many days, I would stop the car and capture an image of the clouds as I glanced and saw something that caught my eye. In addition, when I travel I like to sit in the window seat so I can glance at the world below the airplane. Again, if something captured my attention, I would shoot several images through the window of the plane and adjust them slightly to create the feeling I was looking for.
In the course of the last 10 weeks, I took hundreds of photos and narrowed them down to just 20 for the exhibit. This was probably the hardest part of creating a collection. Being able to decide what stays in and what gets discarded, I am sure is a life long endeavor as you keep creating.
At the beginning of the course, Catherine asked us who inspires our work or who is inspiring us now? As part of my business I work with many creatives, who constantly inspire me to work harder and smarter but for this particular project, my friend and fellow photographer – Nick Holmes influenced much of the work I created. His use of light and shadow to enhance his subject matter encouraged me to view my work in a completely different way and allowed me to set aside my expectations of perfection and just shoot. For that I am grateful.
To view the entire show please visit Into the Deep on Catherine’s website. This group of women are remarkably talented and I am honored to be exhibiting along side them.
Have a great Wednesday, everyone!