Blog Hoppin’ thanks to the amazing Tara Denny who invited me to join in the paying if forward photography love. I wrote about Tara for one of my 31 Days of Photographers That Inspire List and I’m still feeding off the friendship and inspiration that I’ve gotten since beginning those posts.
I LOVE writing about other people and it was single handedly the thing that made people actually start reading my blog. Overnight it went from showing me I had 8 readers a month to thousands. Apparently people would way rather hear about what other people are up to, but today, sorry to say it, I’m forced to talk about ME, ME, ME. But then I’m also forced to talk about THREE other bad asses who you should check out. So, it’s kind of the best of both worlds, right?
So about me. Since that’s why we’re here. (I’ll cry if this post shows I’m back to 8 readers.)
1. Why do I do what I do?
I’m going to just go on the assumption that this question is asking about my photography rather than Gabe looking at me like I’m crazy for responding in some way when he asks me to do something. “Whyyyyy do you do what you do, Bonnie?”
I do what I do because I love the hustle. I love to have absolutely no idea where the money is going to come from next month. I love to…wait, wait, wait, no, that’s actually not the part I love. Let me try again.
I love the art. I love doing what I do because I’ve always had stories I want to tell and I spent so many years growing up doodling the same ugly flower on every paper I’ve ever had in front of me because that was the only thing I knew how to draw. It’s still the only thing I can draw. And it’s not even a thing. Or worth drawing.
I was essentially an artist trapped in the body of someone who didn’t feel artistic in the slightest. Like an opera singer with a lisp. (sorry to anyone with a lisp that may feel offended. I like lisps. I just haven’t heard many opera singers with one. Prove me wrong and I’ll retract my statement.) Anyways, turns out, I CAN in fact put pictures together, paint all over them, run them through my washing machine of a mind and Photoshop and spit them out in a way that I’m pretty dang proud of.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmmmmm, differ? Doesn’t genre mean: (and yes it does mean this because here’s the definition): a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style or subject matter.
Kidding. I get it. How does MINE differ? This question is pretty funny to me right now because of a group of really fantastic, hilarious fine art photographers that I belong to recently joked about how stereotypical everyone’s images have become these days. We went so far as to make albums for us to all post our own work in that fell into the cheeseball genres. Like flowing dresses, birds, girls flying, girls flying and looking out a window, butterflies, butterflies with girls flying in long flowing dresses looking out a window.
I have some of those for sure. But I pretty much love the fact that by posting them in those albums we all realized the things we need to do to push our work to genuinely be something that constantly evolves and advances.
I think my work is different because I try to make every image better than the last. Not better than the next guy’s. Just better than my own. And I have something that I don’t think a lot of people are lucky enough to have. I have a Gabe. And that means, I have someone who will truly sit down in front of every image I work on and tell me what works and what doesn’t from the perspective of someone who wants what I put out there to look worth of representing us. I have the people in my life who will tell me, “that is AWESOME!” and I need them too. But Gabe is my gold. When he tells me the bit of my photo that I just spent the last 12 hours working on doesn’t work for this picture, I may get instantly annoyed, but am also eternally grateful that he saw what I couldn’t see. Because of that, I don’t post a lot of crap images. I don’t post a lot of images at all. That’s not because I don’t create them. But if it’s not something that I can sit back and be 9000% proud of, I don’t share it. I think a lot of people share too quickly, before they refine them so maybe that’s what makes my work different than other work from my genre.
3. How does my creative process work?
A story pops in my head. And when it doesn’t, I have some strategies for searching for it. Then I plan until my brain bleeds. I have to plan extensively so that any composite work that needs to be done will work together with light and perspective. But no amount of planning ever seems to leave me with a final product that resembles too closely what I started out imagining. I’m a visual person and ironically struggle to see something that doesn’t exist. But somehow, I manage to create something that is even more than what I hoped it would be.
4. What am I working on now?
The absolute most important project of my life. Bunny Danger Awesome Slash Trouble. I’m writing blog posts about how each image was created and would absolutely love to have you follow Bunny as it unfolds.
I’m not so accustomed to deadlines or turning in my homework on time anymore and I feel terrible for putting this off until the last minute, but I forgot to ask my three photographers in advance if they would be willing to participate in the blog hop. They are all bad asses though and I’m betting that even if they can’t pull it off by next week, they’ll participate when they can. SORRY FOR SUCKING at this project!
My three photographers of choice are Kory Zuccarelli, Jenna Martin and Joshua Malik.
Let’s start with Kory. Kory literally appeared in my life when I was walking down a winding road in Pennsylvania with a group of photographer friends on a photo-shooting adventure. It wasn’t entirely haphazard because through a fortunately timed Facebook connection with Jenna Martin, who was also with us, he got invited. From the moment his trunk popped open and piles of beautiful dresses and props spilled out, I knew I liked this guy. He slipped into our quirky clique immediately and we found a new life long soul mate with a camera. The reason I think that my newly discovered friendship with Kory is important enough to mention is because this particular group of photographers all happened to be people that I would never have met if I hadn’t written my 31 Days of Photographers That Inspire articles. These weren’t people I just happened to be friends with because we all went to school together. They were people who’s work had blown my mind enough that I had to write about them. Kory definitely belongs among those ranks. PLEASE go check out his work. His vision and style are all his own. His work is timeless, intelligent and surreal. Check out his website here.
Joshua Malik and Jenna Martin go hand in hand. Literally. Well, maybe not entirely literally, unless they actually do hold hands sometimes, which is entirely possible but doubtful. I mean, I’ve spent quality time with them both and never saw them holding hands with each other or anyone else, but emotionally, they’ve been very valuable hands for each other; a true inspiration for how valuable it can be finding someone with similar goals to help you move forward to make your own dreams come true. It all began in my living room when Jenna who can’t sleep and Josh who just didn’t sleep began to plan a series of workshops they could teach together. It has been incredible watching them take these late night “dream” talks and turn them into a reality with a very successful work shop that they just hosted in Las Vegas complete with a plane crash and a photographer’s play land.
Their next stop, an underwater photography workshop in the Catalina Islands. They don’t do things small. At. All.
You can read about them in my 31 Days of Photographers that Inspire: Josh Malik
and Jenna Martin.
If you’ve got a curiosity for how to shoot underwater, you should really get in on this workshop.
You can follow the rest of my 31 Days of Photographers That Inspire List here!
Find us on Facebook at Bonnie and Gabe Two Creative Birds