Hammock, 2009

All has been quiet on the blog front as of late as I'm madly prepping for Review Santa Fe. Hard to believe I head out on Thursday. I was looking over what I wrote about attending reviews a year ago--here's what I said on July 2nd, 2008:

"[I had] the desire to apply to the Review, but I'm not at a point yet in my role as a mother where I feel comfortable getting on a plane and leaving Edie and June. It's not that I can't ever be apart from them--a night here or there to get some alone time with James is, trust me, fantastic. I'm just not ready for that physical distance, not yet. And I admit that it's intimidating to think about the amount of time and effort that would be involved in printing out large amounts of work. My focus is still on creating, and on not losing the passion for shooting and editing to the process of submitting.

But here's where I worry that I'm limiting myself, or that things are passing me by: I have yet to apply to or attend any portfolio reviews because of this fear of putting the work together in a tangible physical sense. This is not to say I haven't already printed many of the images, and know that they translate cohesively into a palpable photographic form, it's more the entire chain of editing, arranging, final printing and end presentation makes me freeze up. I do carry a fair amount of anxiety wondering whether I'm getting myself out there enough, and trying to find where the balance lies, as always, between motherhood and my photography. It really can be a struggle to keep on top of the multitude of submissions, and lately I've been giving myself a bit of a break by not applying to much. In general I've found that online venues are the most comfortable place for me currently because of their immediacy; if a show requires a CD to be mailed in I'm much less likely to get around to sending the work."

It's quite surreal for me to read those words and be here a year later having gotten into the review. Things have happened organically with my work, in the same manner that things unfold organically in many ways in parenting. It's akin to how you one day realize that you've become more comfortable letting others watch the kids for extended periods, or that you don't need to hold their hands as they come down the stairs anymore. It's not as if it takes place all at once--it just seems that I personally tend to notice it all at once, like, "OK, I applied because this year it's alright, this year I can get on that plane." And in a small way it does make me ache, to realize that Edie and June are that much older, and especially that June, as little as she still is, is no longer as much of a baby. It also feels a bit uncanny to be in a place that I longed to be in last year. To have continued moving forward with my practice of photography, to feel that I've grown within my work and within my mothering, to be closer to a comfortable point in that elusive balance. Last year was difficult; this year I feel more settled. Certainly I'm nervous about taking this journey--I'll miss my family and I'm psyching myself up for presenting my work--but I'm also very excited about having this opportunity to interact with the reviewers and other artists.

On a related note, my big errand today was heading to Target to buy Edie a backpack. I'll sadly be missing her little graduation ceremony from preschool because I leave that morning. I decided to get her a new bag that she can use for kindergarten in the fall, as a way to celebrate this milestone of hers. I wish I could see her sing her little preschool song and tell her I'm proud of her, but James will take lots of pictures I'm sure. I'm feeling very wistful today...

This may be my last blog post for a bit; I don't have a laptop (or an iPhone for that matter) so won't be writing from the road--honestly it will be nice to have a bit of a break from staring at a screen. I'll be back late Monday night and will be sure to share my experience soon after I get home.

In the meantime I'll leave you with the image above, and these links: Be sure to check out Mary Virginia Swanson's write-up on Review events open to the public here; Kevin Miyazaki's latest tinytinygroupshow; the newest issues of Fraction and f-stop magazines; and read this conversation with Will Steacy on Conscientious. I'd also like to officially congratulate Colleen Plumb here on the blog for being a Hey, Hot Shot! Ne Plus Ultra, and to thank her for taking the time to offer advice and support on the phone this morning. I love this photography community that I'm a part of.


kate said…
I love that image. Congratulations on getting into the review. I know exactly what you mean about the physical distance. And also the struggle between creating and editing/submitting. Enjoy your review!
Thanks Kate, I appreciate your comment!

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