Thursday, October 30, 2008

pieces of grace...


Sometimes when we are at a low point, or a point in our lives where we choose to question who we are, who we are meant to be, and who we want to be, a little piece of grace, purely by chance, drifts our way.

Photography is not my passion, that is far too limiting. It is in fact, how I see the world around me. It's my saving grace, my sanity, my outlet, and it ironically allows me to let down my guard. I can see a side of people, even loved ones, through my camera, that are so blatantly pure. I have documented my newborn babies while I still lay in the bed they were born in moments before, the face of my beautiful daughter as her tiny body was set in her wooden coffin, my grandfater staring into the sunset at the same nursing home he passed at months later, my 2 youngest children tucked into a cardboard box, pretending to sail away, never knowing I was watching...beautiful and painful things.

Lately, I have questioned my ability, and have had moments of doubt, where I think that just maybe this love that I have for images and portraits and the world around me is not what I should be doing, not my job to document, and is not a gift that I have.

Then I watched Antiques Road Show (I know, that's what you all expected me to say, right?), the same as I do every week while I edit images on my laptop, and as I was about to shut off PBS, the biography of the incredible Annie Leibovitz came on. Of course I have been a huge fan of hers for years, along with Bresson, Capa, and the modern day Jill Greenberg, but I had never before seen this side of her. Very real, vulnerable, and at times it appeared, unsure of herself. To see someone that in my mind has always been so sure of herself, and so in charge, and has documented and recorded some of the greatest portraits of our modern times, was just...grace. Pure, saving, grace. Something that I needed to hear. I am quite possibly the most self critical person that I know, but I realized that's okay, as long as I can keep at it. If my criticism ever gets to the point that I want to quit, then the point of what I set out to do is gone, as is my love for photography. I want to push myself BECAUSE I love what I do, not to MAKE myself love what I do.

5 comments:

dixie said...

"the face of my beautiful daughter as her tiny body was set in her wooden coffin..." That's a sentence no parent should ever have to type. I'm sorry you're in such a low place right now, but please know that there are a lot of people who care for you and are pulling for you. You DO have a very special gift.

Maria Rose said...

I think you are on a good path. I love the conclusion to your blog.

Zoƫ said...

I wish I could just give you a big hug. I also wish I could sit down with you and talk. I love the way that you photograph people and I know that you are great, but sometimes I know that those things get lost. I hope that you are doing ok.

elliebelle said...

We definitely all doubt ourselves, but you should not doubt your photography skills! Everytime I see your photos - like the ones above of your daughter, I am in awe. They are absolutely stunning! Keep up the great work, and know that even when you may feel unsure, there are many of us out here who can vouch for you!!! Take care!

Visty said...

Amy, I have always admired your photography, but more importantly, your drive. It's hard, but if it weren't hard for you, it wouldn't be a testament to the strength you have to keep on.