"Sometimes my best strategy is 'serendipity.'"
There’s a thing that people do - dichotomize. Separating things that harmonize when left as is. You have book smarts but no street smarts, or street smarts and no book smarts. Really? On the broad spectrum of knowledge, book and street are diametrically opposed - one living uptown, the other downtown? Fighting each other?
And even worse is the thought that people don’t live along life's continuum but are hurled and huddled in groups along either extremes. Instead of fanning to the left or the right, mixing and mingling, book and street, artist and intellectual, tax accountant and poet, are climbing up each others backs, struggling to hug their separate walls, and questioning the point of the existence of those at the "other end" (and sadly, at times, not even living peacefully with each other). What a picture! What a thought. And yet, I'm guilty of it sometimes, like with my Work Experience Overview on the right (or down below, if you're looking at this on a phone). Right-brain. Left Brain. Thankfully that school of thought has been debunked. But sometimes it's just easier to explain who you are and what you do by "ticking off boxes on a questionnaire."
But you know what’s even more messed up? That within the arts, that same principle exists. I dig that it may take a lifetime to “master” a “thing.” And I respect the ones who want to spend a lifetime mastering a thing because that thing fuels their souls. What I don’t dig is people, or institutions, or schools of thought, or anything that rips against ones whose souls are fueled by fanning out along the continuum. Whose souls are cramped when forced to hug a wall on one side or the other: food photography, OR real estate photography, OR portraits, OR weddings, OR pet photography, OR whatever.
“You don’t look focused. You don’t look like you know what you want.”
I get there are wonderful differences within each genre, requiring different skill sets and approaches, even mental and emotional energy. Developing a style - takes time. If I had to identify a problem with "sampling everything on the buffet table and loving everything on the buffet table," it is claiming to be expert at preparing everything on the buffet table without the benefit of acquiring experience, developing skill. A beautiful website ... some lucky shots ... yeah, some are emboldened to label themselves as professionals, charging professional rates. I did it. I learned better. Hopefully those who start out as "professionals" will too.
Just saying, for me, trying to find a home at one of the edges of creativity has kept me in a curious state of restless activity for decades - constantly producing, perfecting being a "jill of all trades." Ironically those decades of restless energy and activity has built up a digital library of tens of thousands of images, countless hours of working out creative and technical challenges, amassing boatloads of experience, and cultivating an uncanny ability to figure things out. And a handful of images that I’m proud of - those are what you will see here.
What Instagram taught me.
I noticed something interesting with my Instagram account at the end of last year. It had been one that reflected my nature - to shoot anything. After I figured out the hashtag thing, I’d hashtag responsibly based on my images, not my account, meaning, my account didn’t stand for a specific genre of photography. If I shot food one day, there’d be a bunch of food followers. But if I shot a city street scene, the foodies ran and the street shooters took the empty seats. If I shot architecture … you get the picture. As a “no-name” photographer, it appeared that there was an expectation to be a speciality store - a one item sold here - account; not Walmart. So I ripped up my account and posted “one-note samba” content. Then I got bored. That just cuts against my grain. So I found another solution.
To make it easy for ones who have enjoyed my photography per genre, I’ve sectioned my site like those sectioned disposable plates that keeps the juices from the green beans from running into the macaroni and cheese.
In the Kitchen | Food Photography
This does nothing to help my attention deficit but it satisfies my artistic schizophrenia.
Fact is, sometimes I’m not focused. Sometimes I don’t know what I want. Which means, sometimes I am focused, and sometimes I do know what I want. Trust me, as a photographer, the issue of focus is always at hand. But being human, loving life and variety, no, I can’t just shoot one thing. Don’t want to. No more than I want to eat the same meal every day, drink the same beverage, travel the same road, listen to a single song, read one book, listen to the same conversations. And I’m certainly not casting judgments on anyone who does. Do you!
I just want to create ... n (the variable that stands for anything; or, if you prefer ... x).
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF EXPERIENCE
Right-brain with Left-brain tendencies
Over 20 years experience digital photography, videography, editing, and producing media for a variety of clients including North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina Folklife Institute, Tri-County Community College, Sandhills Family Heritage Association, One Dozen Who Care, Smokey Mountain Native Plants Association, Andrews Valley Initiative, Handmade in America, and numerous private individuals.
Left-brain with Right-brain Tendencies
Geeked completely out while at Canon Business Solutions and Canon USA for 10 years as a Trainer, Systems Engineer and Senior Curriculum Development Specialist. While there, I developed the Color Imaging Professional training program and authored the reference manual, The Art and Science of Color and Color Management.
Oh, and for my current "left-brained" technical, geek work ...it's easier to just check out my other website, www.alliwanttodois.com.