Untitled Fluidity is an ongoing column that aims to give insight into the creative process I work through while shaping, defining and producing a long term photo essay. My principal intent is to offer the viewer both an educational resource and inspirational tool to motivate one's self to get out there and simply create.
Part of starting a column that exposes me, warts and all, was to hold myself accountable to getting out and shooting at least once a week. I think one common misconception that staff photographers might have about freelancers is that we have more time to work on personal projects. Pssh, I wish! It’s true that as a freelancer you have no one to blame but yourself. You don’t have a boss, editors, or colleagues to push, coach, or inspire you or your growth. Entitlement does not exist. You are not given anything. Everything is earned, especially the opportunity to take your camera out on a date.
But between the networking, marketing, and constant hustle required to keep the work flowing from my editorial, wedding and commercial clients, time is simply not an abundant liberty.
That brings me to this week’s installment of Untitled Fluidity.
Cramped for time, deadlines to make, meetings, scouting locations, pitching stories, incessant phone calls, courteous emails, budgeting balances, crafting a business plan for a possible additional business I might be launching soon, and lest I mention being a father, a husband, and son - when will I ever shoot?!
Evidently, earlier in the week while at my son’s soap box derby event, my wife read the distress on my face or maybe she heard it in my voice when she called from a tattoo convention while I was at home getting my daddy duties on.
Anyway, she came home early and insisted I get out, shoot, and go to the convention - being the happy grump that I can be at times, I obliged. She wisely advised, “How can you find any stories if you never get out?” She ended up being right, as usual. I did find a story and pitched it the next day at a meeting with an editor.
That said, I still needed to shoot for my column to continue shaping and defining my project. What to do? I had a few photos from our weekend activities but it wasn’t substantial.
See, I’ve recently returned to the States after living and working for three years in Abu Dhabi. I’m now based in Hampton Roads. Having lived in this region off and on for most of my life, this is the first time that I’ve actually called it HOME. It seems that in my return, I’ve gained a new sense of fondness, love and admiration for my community.
Hence, I’m introducing my family into the equation. In this mindset I see that “Family is the essence that helps define our very identity” - (yeah, I took that quote from one of those cheesy picture frames every mom owns, mine included). Family is the building block of community so how do I tell the story of my hometown without telling the story of my home?
The following images are a week in the life. Boy Scouts’ soap car derby, a tattoo convention, an allergist appointment with the baby girl, picking up my family from the airport after they returned from visiting my father’s homeland for the first time since 1978, and welcoming spring with a day full of wildflowers at our new home in Virginia.
Enjoy and thank you for looking. Come back and see me again, y'all hear?
P.S. Click on the photograph to view it larger.