Monthly Archives: March 2009

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{baby, you’re a star}

Baby. you’re a star

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You are such a chill little guy.  You made it very, very easy to photograph you.  Sorry about the un-swaddled stuff.  You know we just have to do those shots for Mommy.

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Now, for some reason I envision that you are a future CEO.  I have no idea why ….

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{Lucy Lucy! you stole the show!}

Little Lucy, you stole the show and my heart.  What a fantastic model!

Now I will keep this brief because I promised photos before bedtime…..

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{MORE than just a pretty picture}

What a day!  finally.  I pulled it allllll together.

The ‘prb notecards’ has been an ongoing project for me.  Piece by piece, I have been tearing this project out of me for over two years.  It has not been an easy road.  I realized during my first juried art festival when the judge (an art professor)  passed over my fantastic photos with barely a glance — my hard-to-capture, state-of-the-art digital, technical, beautiful portrait work that was so perfectly (and expensively) printed by the lab— that, while lovely, and monetarily appreciated by the people in the photos, it lacked depth. It lacked meaning.  It wasn’t ART as much as I wanted to believe it was.  My heart sank.  And, what is the point of snapping lovely photos of happy families if they are only appreciated (purchased) if the child has a smile and looks as stylish as Mom and Mom has perfect hair and make up and looks thin.  Dad is always just Dad.  It is fake, empty, safe, and boring.

I fell off the radar not long after.  I created my art room and bought every craft book I could find to play in the ‘real’ art world.  I made terrible collages and finger paintings and generally sucked but was happy because I was getting my fingers dirty.  I ignored the guilt that I wasn’t making any money.  A few months passed and I picked my camera up again with a new outlook.  My work improved overnight and suddenly I was back in business, metaphorically and literally.  However, that didn’t change the fact that my portraits still lacked depth.  My fingers weren’t getting messy.  Typically if I was working on art I wasn’t taking photos and vice versa.  The block worked both ways and no matter which side I was on I was frustrated that the other was lacking.  I had a very hard time bringing the two worlds together.  So the sadness and frustration mounted that I was not making anything significant.

What makes a photograph a piece of art?  Portrait photographers throw around the word ‘art’ like it is candy to entice us with their style.  So much of photography is overlooked by the art world – as it should be.  Let’s face it.  It is much easier to use a tool and snap than it is to paint a masterpiece.  The field is littered with technical photographers who snap and snap and never take the time to dig deeper than the two dimensional image they create.  If the client is happy than they are happy.  In today’s world where everyone has a digital camera in their hand suddenly anyone and everyone is a ‘photographer’.  Mom photographers sprout up every day.  Many many many go into business and fake it until they make it – their skills maybe exceeding in the business category but lacking in photography.  The goal is to have the most clients and make the most money.  It is a very vacant goal.  So many photographers flood the market that the ones with actual TALENT may even fall by the wayside ultimately accepting lesser wages and fewer jobs.  Photographers are a dime a dozen.  There is a whole flourishing industry of photographers selling to other photographers.  The point has been totally lost in my opinion.

The fact of the matter is that art conveys a message.  How do you see something new?  differently?  significant?  How do you say something new?  So many photographers don’t even ASK that question and the ones who do are likely as frustrated as I am.  As one amazing photographer I know who is thinking of changing his name to Ben Done has said, it has all been done.  It has Ben Done.  The field of photography is such an ugly and competitive place that I decided to look from within.  I will create something that has meaning to me.  I am certain THAT hasn’t Ben Done.  But how?

So I must pull it all together — the beautiful expressive meaning of an art piece, the hands-dirty satisfaction of ‘painting’, the lyrical feeling of exceptional photography, the technical perfection of digital photography, the shoot-from-the-hip freedom of lomography, the amazing experience I have learned from lessons in life and from traveling as often as I can, the reminders to do better in the future, and the crafty style that represents what I love.  I also want to create art that can be understood by the general viewer.  I find gallery work to be so complex that the meaning of it is lost on the average person aka ME.  Voila, the prb notecards.

Essentially, the prb notecards represent my art journal.  Every photo has a lesson.  Pieced together it begins to paint the puzzle of life.  Step back to view the big picture.  Influenced by everything from the crafty art journals and quirky installments of other artists to the lessons in the memoirs of astonishing people like Randy Pausch or broken-yet-successful people like Augusten Burroughs  to the frank, open reality of the Post Secret postcards, I share some of the hard lessons I have learned through pain and loss, frustration and seperation, emptiness and fear.  All the experiences in my life have taught me something.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  I don’t believe in coincidences.

So, no, I may never get rich creating my prb notecards, but nothing I have ever worked on has ever given me the pride and satisfaction of presenting the very first ever…  prb notecard installment.

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{read the signs}

it is worthwhile to read the signs along the way.  even if you are smiling, you may find you are going the wrong way.

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{trust wisely}

trust, but always trust wisely.

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cheers to good friends

{break the habit}

sometimes our worst habits are cyclical.  break the habit and conquer the negativity.

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{second glance}

upon second glance, things may seem vastly different

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{fleeting}

some things are fleeting.  some things are not.

never lose sight of that.

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{let’s go to Paris}

Let’s go to Paris.  I’m hungry.

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ugh.  if only.

{continued}

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{exhilarating fog}

I never thought I would find fog so amazing.  After living in the Central Valley of California where fog was a part of daily life during the winter…  a very tedious part of daily life…  I never thought I would be so excited to wake to fog.  Everything is just so magical….

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{float away}

today is the kind of day, weather wise, where you feel like you might just float away up into the vast white sky.  bleh.

Thankfully the forecast for tomorrow includes sun AND warmth.  whew!

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{baby Scarlett}

such a gorgeous little girl.  I am so lucky that I could spend this afternoon with such a sweet thing!

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