Personal Project: 365 Days of Black + White
Honestly, I’m nervous to commit to 365 days of black + white images. But I know this project will push me, along with just enough restraint. Perhaps behind it is my love of film or Ginger Rogers’ movies, but mostly I hope to make better black + white photographs. I will be able to better serve my own artistic voice through my practice. I will benefit others’ lives by evoking those feelings only black + white images know how.
Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.
Do you ever set a word or intention to start off the new year? I have done this for the past couple years. I enjoy having a sort of mission statement or vision to develop myself throughout the year.
My word for 2019 was FOUNDATION which according to Dictionary.com means, "an underlying basis or principle." Through all I have read to gain knowledge on developing my family culture to set us up with a strong foundation, I have been drawn to two new words.
I begin this new decade of 2020 with a clear vision of the foundation I want to build for my family based on WONDER + WHIMSY. Dictionary.com defines these words as follows:
a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable
playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor
While I have read many books and devotionals this past year to lead me to these words, I know the three books that have most impacted me are The Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne, M.Ed., and Love Does by Bob Goff.
In my family as well as through my photography I will be remembering that "less is more" and relationships are where we can spend time enjoying one another as we look to the good and the beautiful. Our days will surely include adventures when thinking of these things, whether to explore the river in our neighborhood or traveling north to see the process of maple syrup.
When you’re on an adventure with people, everything changes. Being surrounded by wind and waves, traveling through the beautiful world that God created, and hanging from the bottom of a huge spinnaker are the things that make our differences seem less important. When you start a huge mountain was sheer cliffs and waterfalls cascading thousands of feet, you forget the person next to you smells a little funny or was mean to you once in second grade. God designed us to be this way. I think he knew that the more we stand in all of him, the less will stand in judgment of each other.
What do you have in store for your new year?
"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV
I found a long letter my dad wrote me when I was 18, essentially talking about finding my way in the world to acquire the integrity that I believe he has modeled for me. I can sum up a big part of it with some verses in Philippians. I also know he prayed for these things for me, showing me grace along the way, and I know I wish these things for my own two little boys. This is Philippians 1:9-11 from the Bible version called The Message.
So this is my prayer: That your life will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately, you need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
People are willing to be brave when they admit their smallness within the enormity of the world, and the best way to understand our smallness is to leave our comfort zones and start exploring, one foot in front of the other. When we go on adventure, we'd better understand where we truly belong. We want our kids to know that it doesn't always take an airport gate and a 747 to experience the world. It was big even in our own country. This is why we take road trips. // Tsh Oxenreider from Notes From A Blue Bike
In different words and through his actions my dad always taught me that it’s all in the details. I never appreciated it growing up, feeling like it was more about perfection than doing my best.
My dad’s model of excellence is in my head when I want to do something poorly. I hear him nudging my conscience and I feel compelled to take the time to do it properly, even when no one is looking. When my cousins and I were in middle school we got souvenir pennies pressed at Sea World. Being the DIY-ourselfers we were, we decided why not press our own pennies? So we went out on the driveway to hammer our hard-earned lemonade stand money. Well, my dad caught us and told us tampering with money was against the law. We thought for sure the police were going to show up and arrest us for that.
That attention to detail, the small things that make up the bigger picture has trickled into my art. I stalk those details, those lovely imperfect bits that illustrate a more full story and that take you back to that certain feeling.
Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by documenting everyday life–revealing what authentic, adventurous and lovers of life we all are.