This is me. I used to have hair and lot's of Star Trek imagination. Now, I am left with lot's of imagination. Including, how I would look like with hair!
I never thought photography and film would be my thing. People commented on 'having the eye' but never took it seriously. Yet, I knew in me there was something. A capacity to be present, to see and appreciate beauty. In people and in nature. I ignored that gift for many years. This is my mom. She sees and hears everything. I am sure I got the 'eye' and 'ears' from her.
Once, I asked my closest friends to tell me why they were friends with me. One quality, that when I die they won't get from anyone else. All of them said: 'because we can be ourselves around you.' So, that's my dad in me. You can relax with me and my camera.
Graduating high school, had to serve in the military (aka 'Life University') for 26 months. I served in the Military Police. I learned form, exertion and discipline.You bet, I get the job done and you will love it. I was trained for it.
The First Calling:
This is a proof that I went to college. Actually, I went all the way up, earning a doctorate in Engineering Management. The day I defended my dissertation, it was a spring day in May. Blue skies, sunny, breezy day. I returned home and sat on the steps outside. I looked up in the sky. I remember feeling so free. And with that, it dawn on me: 'I want to take pictures. I want to play with the camera.' So, I took my first photography class at the Torpedo Factory with James Steele. A former engineer who turned into fine art photographer. Parallel roads, in retrospect. A coincidence? I don't think so.
Looking back, life always called me to pick up the camera and pay attention. I was visiting home, and we were having a family dinner. My six year old nephew stepped outside and climbed the lemon tree. I felt the impulse to pick up the camera and follow him. I took this picture.
It proved to be the last one I took, before he passed at the age of seven from an auto-immune disease. I remember the morning before receiving the news of his passing. I woke up, with the impulse to look at his pictures. Then the phone rang with the news.
The Kick in the Butt:
I run many marathons in life (literally and metaphorically) before I found my way. Life finally gave me the kick in the butt that I needed. I lost my job. In the absence of not knowing what to do next, I wasn't going back to what I was doing. Naturally, my heart led my hand to pick up the camera again. I felt excitement and also lost. For the service of what asked myself. I was looking for a cause. I looked into different genres. Beautiful work, and yet I was still searching. And then here it is: The work of Kirsten Lewis. A family day in the life documentary photographer. Her work had everything I cherished. Family, life, street/documentary raw authentic moments. I knew instantly, I had to learn from her. And so, I signed up for her one year long mentoring program.
I was sharing with my friend how connected I feel with life and other people, when a moment strikes and I am there behind the camera, noticing, appreciating instantly the raw beauty unfolding and capturing it with a blink of an eye (actually a lens is involved too!). My friend invited me to a workshop with Nic Askew. A filmmaker, a poet and educator, Nic, captures in short films the truth of a human soul. Beyond concepts and conditions. I signed up for Nic's workshop. Instantly, his way of using the camera and method of capturing the essence of one's being in short films felt second nature to me.
They say home is where your heart is. The journey has been long, confusing and not a straight one. And yet, here I am. With this work, I am home. In love, in joy and awe capturing the magic of being human. A portrait of a human being in both photography and films. It is my aspiration that years down the road you look back at yourself and your family and experience a joyful heart of sadness. That life wasn't bad. It was actually sweet, loving,and full of magic. And you showed up fully human, in all its forms and shapes. That's magic worth capturing.