There is something special about being intimately invited into people’s spaces, lives and routines in a way that photographs cannot always capture.
Though, truth be told, it is that very specific situational aspect of life that I am most often drawn to in my photography work. Capturing the raw and unposed moments that conspire within the framework of the mundane and attempting to convey the interpretation of that perceived beauty.
Raven is someone I’ve met here in New Mexico who has taught me so much about the caring for a type of animal I, admittedly, have not thought too in depth about aside from eating their eggs for breakfast most days of the week…
However her love and care for her chickens is evident, even in these images, and is a heartwarming thing to witness.
(It should be noted that giving her chickens baths is not actually a regular occurrence, but they were preparing for a chicken show in Arizona the next day)
This is just a small vignette of what have become numerous unexpected moments throughout living on a farm in New Mexico.
I wish I remembered exactly how Jeanie Tomanek’s work came into my life.
I do remember a Winter afternoon in 2015, looking at her Etsy shop and being captivated by the elusive and etherial figures and scenes she depicted in her paintings.
I favorited nearly every single one.
I soon discovered she had an instagram and after following, would regularly click on her account, drawn time and time again to the peaceful and dreamlike imagery that, to me, conveyed this spirit of hope and resilience.
A theme she often focuses on when painting, I later learned after meeting her.
I finally purchased one of her originals, which you can see here, titled Tiny Bit of Faith, which reminded me of the great many leaps of faith I’ve taken in my life, and how each and every time I have always landed after leaping.
A thing you can forget when you are on the precipice or in mid air.
Of course her celestial themes and moon centered works leave me star struck (pun somewhat intended…) as well. You all know how I feel about the moon.
Her figures, often featureless, without hair or skin color, are the defining symbol behind her art’s moniker. Something I tried to rewrite to convey what she told me in person, but I think I will just let her own words convey the idea.
“I love to show the strength and optimistic attributes of women. Even when they are in a quandary or in danger, I always try to show a glimmer of hope and wisdom—that they will solve the riddle and make it through, stronger and with dignity. Being bald and shorn of any particular identity, they become all women.”
Jeanie did not hesitate to welcome me to visit her in her studio space when I inquired if she would be up for this photo essay.
I brought a dear friend along and coffee and cinnamon buns were awaiting us as we entered her sun splashed home last Spring. I instantly felt at home, not just in her space but in her presence as well. Jeanie is the kind of warm and friendly that makes you want to be her life long friend and that you kind of just want to be around in hopes that some of her depth and wisdom rub off on you.
The mess of artist’s spaces are my favorite. The slant towards imperfection and allowing natural creation to take you where it will. There is a kind of raw freedom there.
A freedom that knows that the process is often more important than the end goal.
It was all the more incredible seeing her work in person, as well as some of the tangible inspiration behind it. Our conversation that afternoon centered around the beautiful resilience of women, following your heart in it’s inclinations of what it was made to beat for, and pushing past fear and indecision and allowing yourself to sit in vulnerability so as to reach a braver and stronger self.
All images shot on Portra 400 35mm film and are in their original as-shot unedited state.
If you enjoyed this Artists In Film essay please check out the others below!
A newer series I’ve started
Spaces In Film
Keep an eye out, because there are more essays in the works!
Thanks for reading friend.
This project is one that is incredibly close to my heart and it means the world that you paused for it.
These are portraits of a dear friend of mine. She lives in England. We’ve been friends for about seven years, but met in person for the first time this year.
Okay, there is more to this story…
Siobhan and I have been internet friends through our blogs for longer than we’ve had Instagram. I remember having my blog on Blogger when she started following it, and I remember her blog, Bless The Weather, on Wordpress back when she was mostly knitting and only dabbling in taking photos. (For those of you who don’t know, she’s a kick ass full time photographer now.)
We have come a long way in the development of our businesses, but more importantly our friendship.
It’s a funny thing to some to befriend complete strangers online (though I’m not sure why, when they’ll date online with apps like Tinder without a second thought… a thing I still refuse to partake in…). But it’s been somewhat of a normal aspect of my life for a number of years now. Obviously I befriend people in person as well, but to not utilize the complete wonder of social media these days in this way seems so silly to me. Literally, the entire world is at our fingertips, and this beautiful human is most definitely one of the top people I’ve met online that I can say that I am endlessly grateful turned into a real life friend.
After years of emails and commenting on one another’s blogs and interacting over social media, we finally had the pleasure of meeting in real life in New Orleans earlier this year. We both made the trek down (albeit a much longer trek for Siobhan, coming from England and all) and we could not have clicked any more fully and immediately, finally solidifying our sisterhood and friendship in person after all these years of virtual connection.
There also could not have been a better place for the blossoming of our friendship than the vibrant motion of the jazzy New Orleans.
This Fall I stopped in England on my way to Greece and spent a few lovely days visiting her and her dear family in the incredibly charming small English town of Hitchin.
Taking these portraits of her was only one of the many highlights of our weekend.
Especially because she is due to have her second little one in the beginning of the year! Being present to capture this season of her life felt like such a special gift to us both.
I am sure you can see, from these images alone, why we make such good friends. I mean, overalls, a brimmed hat, film camera, loving plants and being outside??
Yes. Yes, we are indeed soul sisters.
Much like Artists In Film, Spaces In Film is focused around a more intentional and simple documentation of intriguing interiors and favorite vignettes found on the road.
Film is a format of photography that I increasingly fall in love with as the years go by.
Indeed, I often prefer it over its digital counterpart. While I shoot digitally for work most of the time, there is a mystical, etherial and nostalgic way about film that just can't ever quite be replicated with digital images.
For these reasons, as well as the often imperfect and one-time-shot aspects of the medium, I have come to treasure my film photos in a way i'm not sure i'll ever feel about any other kind of photograph.
Film is one of my favorite ways to create, to document. Largely because of the intentionality and slowness and care I have to execute in the midst of it, but also because it teaches me to appreciate imperfections.
Blurred edges. Out of focus planes. Light leaks.
Some would argue that these are the makings of a bad photograph, but I beg to differ.
Because they are real.
They are raw.
They are capturing exactly what it was in front of the lens at the time, unapologetically, with no filter.
This first space I am sharing with you is The Jupiter Flats, an Air BnB in Joshua Tree California that was a stop during The Wild + Wonderful American Road Trip.
My favorite spaces are the ones that incorporate the outdoors into their functionality and everyday living. They are the ones I find myself happiest in. Closer in routine to that which we came from. A natural invitation to rewild.
We spent the evening unpacking and repacking our bags, playing vinyl records, turning on the twinkle lights, making a batch of margaritas from our earlier-in-the-day purchased roadside tequila, and soaking our clothes and then ourselves in the outdoor tub.
As the day wore out and the stars grew more contrasted as the sun rotated further from our patch of sky, it was apparent that this space was not only a respite for our road weary bodies, but our minds as well.
Simplicity brings space which allows for open thoughts, concise actions and clear convictions.
This space was rich with it.
You can follow the jupiter flats on instagram and book your own stay with them on Air BnB here. Don’t have an Air BnB account? Follow my link here to get $40 off your first stay!
All images shot on Portra 400 35mm film and are in their original as-shot unedited state.
If you enjoyed this Spaces In Film essay, check out some of the Artists In Film essays!
Keep an eye out, because there are more film essays in the works!
Especially with coming home and getting all of the film developed from
Thanks for reading friend.
This project is incredibly close to my heart and it means the world that you paused for it.
the kind of girls who follow their dreams, not trends.
the kind of girls you want as friends, sisters, partners, mothers.
the kind of girls who encourage you to be more you by simply being unapologetically themselves.
the kind of girls you will be late for buses and trains for.
the kind of girls to go dancing with under late night city lights.
the kind of girls who have wild and relentless ambition.
the kind of girls who listen with their hearts.
the kind of girls you will book plane tickets with.
these are the kinds of girls i feel grateful to not only know, but call dear friends.
these three strong, independent and beautiful sisters inspire me endlessly.
i feel lucky that from time to time our lives line up to allow us to be underneath the same little patch of sky and with the same rooftops beneath our feet.
for quite some time now i've been holding this idea of doing film photo essays on various artists i love and admire and sharing them here on the journal.
film is a format of photography that i increasingly fall in love with as the years go by.
indeed, i often prefer it over its digital counterpart. while i shoot digitally for work most of the time, there is a mystical, etherial and nostalgic way about film that just can't ever quite be replicated with digital images.
for these reasons, as well as the often imperfect and one-time-shot aspects of the medium, i have come to treasure my film photos in a way i'm not sure i'll ever feel about any other kind of photo.
yesterday i re-shared this post of photos from Anna's home in Portland Oregon, but it wasn't until recently that i developed the remaining rolls from this trip. so in addition to her lovely home, here you can see some vignettes from her studio space as well.
what struck me most about first meeting Anna, and spending time in both her studio and home, was the seamlessness of her spaces. both conveyed her lifestyle, values, goals and taste in an interchangable and genuine way. she has since become a dear friend and has remained a huge inspiration to me in this way. for my various art forms and work are indeed my life as well, and as such i want my life to speak of that, in whatever outlet or avenue people encounter it.
not in an artificial "branding" or for "asthetics" purposes kind of way, but rather as an intentional and authentic thread that speaks to how much we artists truly do live, breathe, and believe in the art we put into the world.
which is namely the inspiration for this series.
showing artists in the spaces in which they not only make their art, but live it.
i hope to feature more artists soon, from past studio visits as well as future ones from my many planned travels this year!
but to start of the introduction of this series, please enjoy the beautiful Anna of Experimental Vintage.
this is, admittedly somewhat of a small re-post as i did share some of these photos in A Small Collection of Photos That Make Me Happy around this time last year. however, i recently developed some more film, and among the images were a few more of Anna's beautiful home that i really wanted to share (besides, it's been a year, so most of you probably haven't even seen these). so i am compiling and re-sharing them all again here, along with the somewhat repeated adage of how happy it makes me to scroll through these photos.
film is truly, increasingly, becoming my favorite format in the way of image capturing.
although i do use my iPhone to take photos on a daily basis, as well as my big digital DSLR camera for the majority of my work related shoots, and cannot deny the ease and convenience and indeed my own kind of love for both of these formats of taking photos, film will always stand alone as a special, nostalgic and one-of-a-kind way of documentation for me.
hoping to share more film photos in the coming months as i start to sort through and develop various rolls that i've let sit for far too long.
i will in fact be sharing some super dreamy film photos of Anna's studio space for her business Experimental Vintage tomorrow, so check back for those!
oh, and those beautiful flowers on the table? see more photos of where those came from in my post An Oregon Urban Flower Farm In Film. Yep. Melody has a mini flower farm in her yard and it's amazing.
if you'd like to see more of my film posts you can check out the tag here.
and now, please enjoy Anna's beautiful home and be sure to follow her instagram.
leaving here a small collection of imperfect photos, taken with expired film, that make me happy.
perhaps exactly because of their imperfection.
and perhaps also because of:
walls with faces.
a counter with late-night-suburban-foraged apples.
a dog that follows the yellow brick road and her ornery friend, a crossed eyed cat.
glasses of red wine.
brown booted friends treading on perfectly worn rugs.
music and candles and lights-left-on for those going away and coming back.
and a kindred spirit found in an ethereal soul who i often wish didn't live on the exact opposite coast from my coast.
shot with kodak gold 200 and Kodak gold 400 35mm film in Portland Oregon
meet Halldóra and Hobie. the sweetest and kindest spirits in the most beautiful landscape.
they gave me such a wonderful experience and introduction to Iceland, i loved seeing the country through their eyes and their stories.
and speaking of stories, i'll leave you with this:
a California boy falling in love with an Icelandic girl from across oceans? talk about a love story.
you can actually learn more about their story on their website because Hobie and Halldora are also photographers!
their work in Iceland is just as you would imagine it to be in such a striking country.
but for now, enjoy a few of my favorite images from a wintery afternoon with them.
you all might remember this post from last fall involving my work with the dreamy Upper West Side plant and flower shop, PlantShed.
i have since had the privilege of working with them again and, for the foreseeable future, will be continuing to do so!
to say that this is a dream job is an understatement. being able to work with plants and cool people in one of my favorite cities? yep. all the makings of a dream job.
if you're in the city, you should definitely go by their shop, located at 209 W. 96th Street, New York, NY 10025. everyone who works there is so much fun and they're some of the most knowledgeable people i've met in regards to plants and how to take care of them!
i learned how to better care for my future fiddle leaf fig for example (thank you again Dahlia...). they also make some of the most beautiful arrangements (which you can see heaps of on floral designer Casey's own website and instagram!) and with Valentine's Day coming up... well i don't need to finish that sentence.
i think one of the highlights from this last trip though, was seeing the old photographs that Eric, the owner, pulled out from when his family opened the shop in the 1970's and from being in the flower business decades before that even! i absolutely love the family owned and operated aspect of a business. it makes your experience more personal, not to mention the story behind knowing how something started and being able to see where it is now is such a cool evolution and timeline to witness.
and, for the record, it's truly only the fact that i wouldn't be able to get any of those huge cacti onto the bus/plane/train with me back to Virginia that i don't adopt every single one of them...
if you don't have the opportunity to visit them in person, definitely check out PlantShed's website and all of their wonderful floral bounty here and be sure to also follow them on Instagram!
here are just a handful of my favorite shots from January's shoot!
P.S. if you liked all of that, maybe you'd also enjoy watching THIS video i made while in the greenhouse!