I have decided I want to use this blog as a journal to write thoughts about the daily lives of a family in quarantine. I don’t know if anyone will read this, or if it is me processing thoughts, but I have this pretty website that I want to use, so might as well, right? I wish I had started writing here sooner, to see the ways our lives have changed over the past 6 weeks. I didn’t think of this until recently, though. I have been documenting our lives through photographs and some of those I will share here as well. You know what’s funny is that I have always used pictures to document the happenings in my life. I had actually forgotten about that until I had a memory about a trip to Sequim, WA with my grandmother. My grandmother, her parents, and I traveled to an animal farm in Sequim, WA. They were taking me to see Vancouver and we stopped there overnight. I had my disposable camera with me, hiding behind doors and snapping a picture quickly as everyone came through. How freaking annoying, right? But I loved a disposable camera. It may not have been an art form at the time, but something in me has always understood the power of documenting the present moment. maybe it was because I was never able to be fully present and that way, I could prove to myself I was actually there. That memory was a revelation in my photography journey and just one of the many things I’ve learned through this time to myself. Yes, I have my kids and they’ve been a tremendous part of the learning process as well. So, I thought I would start writing a little here and there. Maybe they’ll come back when they’re older and read these or maybe some historians will find blogs like this and use them as history lessons about the Great Pandemic of 2020. Who knows.
One of the things I have realized about my photography is that I am desperate for attention. I mean, I kind of always knew that, but I realized that my photography has been a way to garner likes and comments on social media. Oh, look at me, I’m so creative. I’m not saying this in a self deprecating way, I am simply sharing a lesson I’ve learned over the past few months. The question first started on a trip to Click Away in early March. I asked one of the teachers “how do I know if my photography is good?”. It was a legitimate question, probably one we all want to ask, but the thing I realized as the words left my mouth was that it doesn’t fucking matter. Really, what does it matter if my photography is good? Of course, as an artist, you want to improve and part of the joy of the craft is learning. The problem comes when my value as a person is tied up in how my photography is received by the masses. Masses of people I do not know at all, probably scrolling through the thousands of pictures from other artists desperately seeking the same affection. That one little heart giving me the satisfaction of existence. That’s dramatic, I know. I am just trying to demonstrate the point of how insane it is for me to put my value as an artist in the likes on Instagram. I took some time to really evaluate why I was so driven to succeed, in whatever it is that I did. I like to think of myself as an Octopus, all of these arms flailing about, grasping at whatever modality will bring me recognition. I asked myself the question, would you take pictures if there was nowhere to post them? Would you continue to work hard at learning this craft if you knew you would always be mediocre? I had to get real serious with this because my first reaction was, oh of course, and brush it off but then still desperately post on IG with the hopes it would get 50 likes. Small number I know, but I am constantly humbled, rightfully so. If I had even a teeny bit of success, I would never have done the deep work because I would have been fine with the shallowness of it all. When I truthfully asked myself this question, I wasn’t sure. Then, I had this memory of my great-grandparents in Sequim. I wasn’t taking pictures for likes then. Social media wasn’t ever a thing. I wasn’t trying to hone my craft, I literally had a kodak disposable camera snapping shots of the world. I did it just because. That realization helped me to see that this expression of myself was true, I had just been going about it all wrong.
homeschool during quarantine 2020
Constant messes during quarantine 2020
All of that work, the journaling, the contemplation about my work, all of it helped me to reach a place of freedom in my work. I realized why I wanted to continue in my photography and what I wanted to capture. I took a couple of photography classes with Linsey Davis and Koren Smith that helped me with that evaluation. Of course, I am still sharing on social media, but it’s mainly because I have found a community there that I love and enjoy being a part of. And while I believe that desire to be “good” is always going to be there, I realize that my worth doesn’t come from it and THAT gives me such a freedom. That clicked a couple of weeks ago and since then, I have been so inspired in my work. I have followed my creative whims and I have enjoyed doing things for the sake of doing them.
Here is some of my work over the past few weeks. Hope you enjoy.
I am not going to say I’ll write daily because I am never good at commitment, but I want to continue this journal to document life in the Pandemic of 2020.