Saturday, February 16, 2013

Love, It's Who You Know

I've been in a bit of a rut, but maybe I too often come here to confess that. I won't describe the rut in detail -- the causes or the effects. Essentially, I have longed -- in every sense -- to do something truly meaningful since I moved to Chicago. It's been (almost) three years since I left the cozy confines of college and family behind in Ohio. We all measure success differently (whatever success is) and I guess I have felt, to a large extent, unsuccessful as a photographer and fairly clueless as a human being. Love has sort of come and gone my way, and maybe, with relentless force, I willed it to come and then waited secretly, in quiet reluctance, to see it go. I've worked hard, yeah, but I really don't think I've worked hard enough in any one particular arena. I've spent too much money trying to establish my safety and secure my dignity. With that, I will be honest, here. I'm lonely. I'm tired. I'd like you to see me as this brazen, capable, highly-motivated and independent young woman. I'd like you to see me without giant footprints on my back, without daddy issues at every corner, without the baggage of a heart broken and re-broken, without the constant longing for connection and reinforcement. But I probably came here to write this because I want you to see all of those things too, and realize that what you see isn't really what you get.

These are just portraits. At a time when taking photos seemed like a strenuous exercise, I turned to the people I see every day -- my staff at my job -- and asked if they could sit for a photograph. I can find some meaning there or I can choose to feel like I haven't mattered in anyone's life. I'll choose the former today, for the sake of several things. I'd like to think inspiration is cyclical -- that you can inspire me by just being present, and quiet, and wholly yourself. And that I can just be me and inspire you, too.

There are more of these to come. Thanks to Emily, Jacob, Joe, Aaron, Edward, Logan, Diana, Tanner, Brad, and Rachel for helping me "break my eye open."

1 comment:

Shaena Mallett said...

beautiful portraits, Erica. I especially love the first one. Thanks for sharing!