Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Residency: Final Thoughts

It’s my last night here at the Anderson Center, and I feel I need to write about it. I’m not compelled to say anything extraordinary, I just feel like I’m supposed to elaborate on my thoughts at this point.

I’m ready to go home, but not ready to leave.

I’m not ready to leave because there is more work to be made; more photos that I need to have. I came here for a project, and I’m not sure that the project is fully realized yet. I’m not sure it exists in the form that I had hoped it would. I’m not ready to leave Debbie’s cooking. Six pm every night, something incredible is sitting on the table. I’m not ready to leave the power of this room. There is a creative energy surging through this building. I can feel this house breathe at night.

I’m not ready to have to go back to “fitting in” time to make photos. Here, I’ve been able to crawl out of bed, grab my gear, and come back when I’m done (or hungry). I’ve been able to talk with the people A LOT more than I usually can. (Side note: I've realized that the stories that are shared with me before, during, and after I make someone’s photo may be important to the work, so I’m trying to remember everyone and what we talked about so I don’t forget. At my presentation last night, a few people commented afterward that they really like the stories I had to tell with each photo, and that they’re not used to photographers giving that much background on each image. They liked it. I’ve been thinking about it for about 4 days now, and I’ve decided I need to get these stories on paper. I tend to forget the details. It’s all just details.)

I’m ready to go home because I’ve worked myself numb. I don’t stop looking for photos or talking with people in town. The other residents comment on how they never see me because I’m always out shooting - never around home resting. I haven’t been sleeping nearly as much as I should be. My calves are burning. My big toe on my right foot is screwed up. My right shoulder is constantly sore to the touch from carrying around that damn camera bag. The skin around my fingernails is raw from going in and out of my pocket for my car keys all the time. I’m ready to feel my bed again; to smell Sarah sleeping next to me.

What’s left to say? It’s been an incredible stay, but my time is up. I have the photos that I have. 1956 to this point. It’ll be well over 2000 after my shoot early tomorrow morning. I’ll spend a few weeks (months) contemplating them, moving them around, adding, subtracting, changing the story around until, hopefully, I can make them communicate something. That “something” is yet to be determined. It will be a thought-filled night tonight, I’m sure. Thanks for being a part of this.



I think you're on to something with the stories idea. Photos in and of themselves are undeniably powerful as ways to tell a story, but there's something really interesting about the back-story. I think the story behind the shot can give a lot of depth to the image, that otherwise may or may not be there.

Along the same lines, you might want to check out . There are a number of pretty interesting photo essays that are all narrated by the various photographers. Take it for what it's worth, but it might be kind of inspiring... I know it was for me.

Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see what your final project looks like.


I, um, didn't know that I had a smell.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Excuse, that I interrupt you, but, in my opinion, there is other way of the decision of a question.

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