Tonight, I sit here with a migraine wreaking havoc in my head. The pain is behind my eyes, swirling around until it reaches the top of my skull like an explosive ready to go off. On days like these, I try to think calm soothing thoughts. Clear my mind and close my eyes. A dark cool room and as little noise as possible often help, but not always.
I can’t always determine the trigger for one of my migraines, but today, I know it was the nine hours I spent with my face in a computer screen. Other triggers include yeasty foods and stress. Still, most of the time, I have no idea.
Some migraines come on quickly and surprise me. Others, I can feel coming on long before they hit. Those slow rolling migraines allow me to take medication, so that I can head them off or lessen their impact.
My migraines definitely have an impact on my life. There are times when I can push on, in spite of the pain, but other times I can’t really function. I have to lay down and hope that I can sleep and awake without pain.
That said, I am heading to bed.
Jim and I snuck in a fast trip into the Cincinnati Museum of Art this past weekend. We were in a hurry because I had a wedding too shoot starting in the mid afternoon and there was a lot of windshield time in-between. The excuse was to see a collection of Samurai weapons and armor that was closing the next day. However, it was a side gallery that proved to be the highlight to the outing for me. A collection of Tiffany windows and lamps.
Gorgeous subtle colors. See for yourself.
Taken last fall on the farm. This is a prime example of those photos that we all have. You know, the ones we passed over the first time around. Then we stumble upon them accidentally and decide they might be worthy of the light of day.
The main gallery at the Springfield Museum of Art during an exhibition on the artwork, photography and stories behind Norman Rockwell’s iconic Saturday Evening Post covers.
This small museum has one of my favorite galleries, full of gorgeous natural light filtered in through the windows high on the exterior walls.
Perhaps as a result of my semi-southern upbringing, I enjoy visiting. No special occasion is required. You only need the desire to stop by and spend some time with friends and family. It’s a time to catch up on the week. Talk about the events of the day or share information on common acquaintances.
It’s understood that visiting is not a formal occasion. No one is going to wait on you, though visiting often involves food. To underscore that point, the best kind of visiting takes place in the kitchen.
At the farm, visiting often involves sitting near the wood stove, enjoying its warmth. Debbie and the farmer will be there. So will Sarah, the farm’s official ambassador and mouser.
As the wood pops in the stove’s woodbox, the kettle steams and the conversation ebbs and flows. Laughter punctuates the stories told and comfortable silence gives time for thought and reflection.
Visiting may be an art, but it is not pretentious. It’s democratic. Anyone can participate, even you. Go visit with someone you know and polish up those conversation skills you’ve let become rusty.
Driving home from a long day trip to Cleveland when I saw this storm hovering over the field streaming by my window. The sun was setting and lighting up the field and trees, making for some wonderful light and contrasts.
Back in December, I met a young woman at the wedding of some friends. A month later, I received a cryptic text message – Are you interested in a new project? Never one to turn down something interesting, I said: “Sure, what do you have in mind?”
I soon learned that her long term relationship had ended and that she wanted me to photograph her while she cried. She saw the project as a cathartic opportunity to get the pain out of her system. My first thought was – What a terribly emotional and painful thing to do. My second thought was – What an amazing opportunity to shoot some very powerful images.
We discussed our vision of how the results would look. Dark. Black and White. Stark contrasts. We decided that the location would be her home. I brought a single light and stand as well as a backdrop. She provided a small chair. I thought the simplicity would focus the viewer on her expressions, making their experience profoundly emotional.
She had a fear that when we started shooting, she would not be able to cry. However, she had a stack of old post cards and love notes that quickly stirred up the pain inside of her. Crying was not a problem at all.
As a photographer, I was focused on shooting. As a human being, I was very cognizant that just in front of me was a woman in pain. I kept reminding myself that I was there to shoot and not comfort her. She wanted to get those emotions out of her. In the end, when she was emotionally spent and we were finished with the shoot, I did give her a hug.
That’s it. That’s how I shot the most gut wrenching shoot of my career. I am glad that I did it. I am honored that she asked me to be her photographer.
Would I do it again? Yes, I would. Becoming better at what you do often means leaving your comfort zone. It means taking risks and learning from the experience. This was one of those opportunities. I would do it again in a heart beat.