I made a personal book of hundreds and hundreds of never-shared black and white iPhone images from our Airstream journey. It is, and will forever be (I'm willing to bet), one of my most treasured possessions.
I used VSCO b2 to edit each image, and Artifact Uprising to print the book.
Now that I have had it for awhile, I think I am ready to share a few things that creating this book taught me.
1. Pretty is overrated. My art will never be pretty. My art will always celebrate the wrinkles and the reality and the raw patina that only experience can leave behind. I kind of live for the things that many people think are ugly, and I'm finally OK with that. I'm finally OK with being the photographer who thinks your ugly is my beautiful.
2. iPhones are kind of great. We are a media-free family as much as we can be, but, living alone in the woods with two children for months and months left me exhausted to the point of fainting. Thank goodness I could just put my tiny phone in my back pocket and run out the door, because if I had to carry my giant camera and lenses every time we went on a hike or down to the lake I honestly don't think I would have made it out alive. I weigh barely 100 lbs and my camera bag is heaaaaavy and being able to capture the moments that matter most to me with a camera that is so portable and lightweight was crazy freeing.
3. Take the picture, apologize later. Don't second think. If your heart says, "Girl, you better capture this," then you better capture it. My Gram does not enjoy having her picture taken and she often yells at me in French whenever I start snapping, but I did it anyway. I believe that to be a really great photographer, you have to be brave and ballsy sometimes/always. And as long as you are staying within the limits of the law, don't take no for an answer. If your Great Aunt shuts you down, keep at it. Promise her this isn't for anyone to see but you because you love her so much. Which leads me to my next thing...
4. Keep it to yourself. There is freedom in creating a body of work that will never, ever be seen by the public eye. There is so much joy there. I made this giant book at the same time I was crafting River Story and it was exactly what my soul needed to keep singing. The whole shoot + share tsunami has my brain overloaded most days, and it feels really good to have a cohesive and beautiful collection just for me and the ones who eat at my breakfast table. The ego is a dangerous mother fucker, and I've seen so many talented photographers get swallowed whole. This book kept me rooted in what matters.
5. Black and white, always. In 1995 I developed my very first roll of black and white film in the darkroom at The Kingswood-Oxford School and that was that. I was hooked. I love the latest film whatever presets and actions as much as the next person, but when it comes to documenting my family's moments, my heart will always, always beat in tones of black and white.
I know I just said the book was/is just for me and my beloveds, but here is one iPhone image because I have OCD and it bothers me when a blogpost doesn't have an image to go with it. The cover of the book features our pet tomato plant.