A bit about me.
I’m horrible at writing about myself, but great at taking photos and doing paintings of myself. I can be ashamedly narcissistic at times, but it seems to be a phase I’m slowly transitioning from, and into the portraits of others.
I’ve become quite fascinated with photography as of late, though when I think back on it, the fascination with photos was always there. From an early age, a toddler, I can recall looking at old photos from the early 20s of my Nana as a young girl, a girl as young as I was with white blonde hair, on the back of a brown horse. There was a photo of me like that too.
Then there were images of my parents when they were in their 20s. Just a few photos of my parents from their elopement, they were blurry. I would stare into them, imagining the unblurred faces, wondering about their thoughts and the way they lived. I recollect a curiosity of holding those images in my hands, and relating them to my being. Who those people have been, and who they presented themselves to be to me. In these images I perceived life more profoundly, those people in another light. They were more than my grandparent or my parents, they were people who were once children, and young adults, who once had ideas like I did.
Then there were other things, like the toys of my father’s that still remained at my Nana’s house. A spinning top that whistled, it was tin, and I pumped it, and it rattled a little with some age. And a xylophone wheeled wooden truck. And there were photos of my dad, sitting on the back steps by the swing on the porch, with his boyhood friend, bright blonde hair in black and white. I could see that toy in my mind, and wondered how it had remained the same, but my father had changed.
I found old photos at antique and thrift stores. Young people, kissing, laughing, playing games at a picnic. A man dressed in a bear suit, with another man pointing a toy gun at him.
The photographer probably did not matter at all to these images. But yet the expressions, and the interactions between the camera holder and the subject nonetheless presented something that would last. Something that I could connect with. They were simple things, daily activities, pieces of nothing significant at the time- like collectors pieces eventually become decades after the fact. Like the old yellow stove at Nana’s, there was a strange yellow bowl with brown burns in it, that I always liked to eat my chilli in, crumbling my crackers to make it thick stew… or the swing out back that I spent hours on with my cousins, and picking tiny wild strawberries along the brick laden corridor, on that peeling, gray painted porch. There are no pictures of these things, just memory.
Likely the photos I make will not be like those memories; those masterpieces tend to happen by accident. But if I take enough, perhaps something beautiful and nostalgic will come of it. That is my hope.