JUNE 1, 2015

You Will Be Surprised

When I am out walking with Maggie (who, among many other professions during a well lived life, was a dancer) the unpredictable often happens, so carrying a camera is a foregone conclusion. She, spins, and kicks, and runs and laughs, like a 6 year old, and she is more than 10 times that, but her energy and humor are part of the bounty she has brought into my life. Every so often I think; ‘why haven’t I made a book about her?’

While considering a photograph for today’s blog this one popped into view, as did that thought once again. I must have a thousand photographs of Maggie from our 20+ years together, probably more. This is a photographer’s dilemma; the thought that someone close to you is not the stuff of a book. In fact the family and loved ones constitute a great subject for an intimate work, if only we are willing to take the time to look closely at what we have. It also is a portrait of how one ages. Consider Nick Nixon’s series of the four, Brown sisters. When looking at them we see the wear and tear of lives spanning 40 years which, even without words, is an amazing document that grows deeper with each reading and every year.

So, look into your files for those images that you though were too personal, or too familiar, and try looking at them as if you were a stranger who has discovered this trove in a flea market trunk, the way John Maloof discovered Vivian Maier. You will be surprised.

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