Friday, November 1, 2013


Linking with Kat, thank you Kat, at Kat Eye Studio for this month's Photo Heart Connection. 

Whether or not you are interested in this monthly practice, I encourage you to visit Kat's website.  She offers a lot of great classes.  Something might just fit your interests.

Earlier this month out of the blue I was asked to an all day event.  10 area artists had been invited to a beautiful remote spot on the coast of Maine.  The setting included a large old farmhouse surrounded by open fields.  On the property there also sat a stunning Shaker barn in pristine condition converted for use by people rather than horses or cows.  The home-owner was gracious to offer access to the site.

 Plein Air 49/365
Plein Air 49/365

Each artist wandered the property searching for "the spot" of inspiration.  My job was to capture the sense of the day-the artists in the field, so to speak.  Some of my images would be used on a website.  
Timber Point Center Working Group is raising awareness and funds to use a nearby home formerly owned by architect and artist Charles Ewing.  Located on preserve land the house is inaccessible to anyone, yet it is ideally suited as a very low-impact meeting place.  It is in need of upkeep and the group is looking for reasonable use-a blending of nature and humans.  While preserving land is important-if no one can ever use or enjoy it, what is the point? 
I think balance is needed in many of these preserved areas.  What makes a fern or baby shrimp more important than a person?  Can't we find a win-win here?  They allow hunters on the land with license during certain seasons of the year.  Why not artists or those studying nature?
Ooooh, politics.  I don't do politics.
Anyhow-my PHC was much more personal and selfish.  As I was wandering the fields and shore visiting with each artist and photographing them, it hit me that THIS is what I love to do with my camera.  A documentary style of photography.  A balance between capturing an event-not a wedding-but something with a story-that includes people and scenery.  I really love doing that, not sitting at a craft fair amongst note cards and matted and sleeved 8 x 10's.
I've vowed to no longer work without financial reward of some kind.  I broke my rule here-it was an opportunity for me and allowed me to also be artist.  I will receive a tax-write off for my donation. 
I was disappointed. Only one of the 12 images I spent 3 hours selecting and editing was used for the website.  They used 2 others shot by their friend-unedited and more amateur.  If that works for them, it is fine, but I don't think the average person understands the difference and the work involved in creating photographic art.  This is another example of why it's important to VALUE my work as an artist.
They asked for 45 more images "for the archives"....I indicated that I wouldn't do that work without being paid.  They didn't care if they were edited or not-but I do.  I won't let my work out-put my name on it, until it's satisfactory to me.  No can do.
The value here was my photo heart connection. 
I shall cheat and include a couple of bonus shots.  I'm currently taking a computer coding class and having a hard time making blogging time....forgive me for stretching the ONE photo that makes the PHC. 
The day; that was the PHC for me.
Barn by the Sea BW
Barn By the Sea BW



Little Chairs
Little Chairs


Norma Ruttan said...

audible sigh...
I wondered often where you were; then I'd think that perhaps I was missing you because my fibromyalgia & arthritis
limit my time sitting at my PC.
I applaud your work ethic and expectations of putting so much work and time warrants pay.
your pastel shot made my heart leap with joy! delicious colors were used by this artist. almost envy ensued thinking about a barn by the sea! how inviting are the little chairs; I sat on many a small chair in my classroom when talking one-on-one with a first grader.
I hope you see that I've missed you, but I'll take whatever and whenever you offer you fabulous photos.
Happy weekend!

augcott said...

Wow .... what an opportunity!
I wouldn't know what to do first ....

Carol Blackburn said...

What a nice opportunity for you to be part of that advertising. I understand your disappointment at having only one photo chosen but it is #1. All else will pale in comparison to your photo I am sure.
Show me that smile now. I'm glad you stuck to your guns about the extra photos they wanted. You don't work at your art to give it away. I hope your weekend is as special as you are. Smile!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Susan - you got something so much better than getting paid you had an epiphany. Which is so big. I agree that is your best style and work because it presents the whole you. Your photography is awesome no matter what you do, but your voice is just as important.

gina said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful images, Susan! The barn B&W is so classic and balanced. The hand with the pastel really communicates the story, so well framed. I totally agree about valuing our own work -- I'm glad you didn't give them all your other images. I'm also drawn to telling a story with my photos, it just seems more meaningful to me.

Zena said...

Such a wonderful post. The project sounds interesting, and the opportunity you had was great, but I find more inspiring the moment of sudden revelation (about yourself as photographer) that you have lived.
Beautiful images and fantastic photo-heart connection

Kathryn said...

It sounds like an amazing day and I love the essence that you captured in your photos.

Valuing our own work can be a difficult thing but if we don't others won't either.

Michele Matucheski said...

Wonderful that you had an epiphany that day about your own art and passion. Some of us what a lifetime for that realization. Congrats to you, too, that you will value your work. That's where it's starts!--Michele at Sweet Leaf

Michele Matucheski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree with what Sarah said. An artist, like a writer, is worthy of being paid fairly for their work. Making photographs for your own amusement and pleasure is one things, but when someone asks you to do a job for them, you deserve compensation. It's hard to believe they didn't use more for their website - the additional ones you posted are wonderful! I'd like to sit down in those little chairs with you for a nice chat.

Kathy McB said...

Wow, fantastic series of photos. I just love looking at hands. Probably because mine are so gosh darn ugly...I admire others :). But those two chairs with the shadows cascading across them...perfection!

Prairie Jill said...

Beautiful images! I especially love the one of the hand holding the pastels. It sounds like a wonderful day, and one in which you learned as much as the artists in the workshop.

bgottsab said...

Good for you for standing up and valuing your art and not letting other take advantage of your work. You did such a great job capturing the essence of the day - the other artists at their work. My favorite is Pastels - such an intimate shot.

Anita Johnson said...

Great post...I agree, land set aside, but never enjoyed makes no sense at all to me. AND I'm glad you are learning to value your work. I only get that myself about half the time. I would never call an acquaintance and ask them to do plumbing or electrical work here for free. I need to value what I do and I too want my photos edited to my standards.

Linda R said...

Well you did a great job on these photos. They are amazing. They are going to be so happy with them.


Kat Sloma said...

Susan, I'm coming to understand at a deep level that no one will value our work unless we first value it ourselves. Your decisions shared here are an important first step. As is your realization that you love to do this kind of work - and it shows in those fabulous photos. The right people will come along and appreciate that value, I have no doubt. They will say, "Hey, if you really want fantastic photos of this event, you should call Susan. It's worth it." Thank you for sharing in the Photo-Heart Connection.

Rosie Grey said...

This is a great post, Susan, and I just love how you discovered what you want to stand for as an artist and also that you value yourself as an artist!
Oh, and before I forget it: wonderful photos!!
Have a gorgeous week, Susan!

Kim Stevens said...

These are really wonderful, and like the others I love that hand photo and the one of the artist with the house/barn in the back. I love photos that tell stories. When I was home this summer visiting family I practiced people photos on my two nieces. My sister said her teenage daughter didn't care if they were edited or not, but I sure did for the same reason you stated.

rakusribut said...

lovely, lovely shots, great series, i keep gazing at the close up of the hand holding the pastel, so colorful and such wonderful contrasts and things to ponder about.... thanks for sharing!