This Used to be a Playground

On my previous blog, i had written about my first abandoned building exploration. It was a dream come true to venture into the ACME Building here in Jackson (after signing away any liability for injury or death for entering such a dilapidated building). i have had a few opportunities similar to this in the past few years. This morning i went in pursuit of the urban abandonment photo opp. in Detroit. i walked through a former school. Opened in 1910 as the St. Francis Home for Orphant Boys, this magnificent building was more recently used as a target school. It suffered a fire in 2011 and quickly deteriorated when the roof was not repaired.

i am fascinated with the “ghosts” left behind when a building is abandoned. All the books, desks, supplies and instruments left behind broke my heart. i cannot figure out why some of these materials were not salvaged. Perhaps the building was marked contaminated, and the administration was not encouraged to remove items from the school- but surely computers, T.V.s, pianos from two stories below the fire would have been okay? Perhaps it is my naivete, but as much as i enjoyed looking through the ruins of a school, i wish there was a better outcome for the items left behind.

As a photographer who loves to capture that which most people disregard, i was satisfied with what this morning’s adventure had to offer.

Playing Favorites

When i was younger, i could not choose a favorite color. Looking at many of the colors made me happy. As an adult, i thought i had to give my kids a straight answer, so i’ve gone with purple. But really, i do love green also. And turquoise is not to be dismissed. And even though some people say black doesn’t count, i do love black. And gray. My answer is likewise as inconsistent and impossible to narrow down when asked what my favorite subject to photograph is.

This morning i woke up early to head out to Detroit to photograph an abandoned building. (blog to follow) i could say that that is my favorite subject. At least it was from 7-10 am. At 2:00 pm i was back in Jackson to enjoy this little girl’s first birthday party! At 2:00, i assure you, little kids were my favorite subject to photograph. i truly enjoy photographing people in different stages of life. (And i also dig photographing things in various stages of decay.) Ultimately, i know, i feel happy wherever i am, especially with a camera in hand. Happy Birthday, Little Wonder. 🙂

Everyone Has a Story…3

Today i met my third interviewee for my Countryside service project. He was open to answering my questions and telling how he survived the pegged pants craze and how he has learned how to use a computer to keep in touch with friends as far away as Seattle. He enjoyed the years his children were growing up and he coached and umped their little league and softball teams. An avid golfer, he found Jackson to be a great place to live. (Which was exactly my husband’s rationale when we moved here… but i don’t play golf.) 😉 Though at first he shied away from offering up advice, he did suggest that we should all go about our lives as honestly as possible. i whole heartedly agree.

 

Let ‘Em Play

i often say that the 18-month-old shoot is the most difficult. These little guys don’t quite follow directions and they are mobile. This morning’s shoot was a combination of chasing this little man around, and watching cars and trucks go by. Mom packed a bag of toys, and he was content to play with them so i could photograph him.

The style of photography that i fall into allows for flexibility in protocol. Sure, i’ll try to get {the subject’s} attention- but when all else fails- let ’em play! 🙂

Summer Day in March

Today i got to enjoy the fabulous weather while hanging out with this guy. i just photographed him and his brother a couple of weeks ago, but Mom wanted more photos with just him for his upcoming birthday. i am so glad she scheduled for this week! The weather could not have been more ideal, allowing us to shed extra layers and have fun in the sun! Yes, in Jackson, Michigan… in March.

Six Months and Counting

When measuring time passing against the growth of a child, we typically respond with “WOW! How quickly time is flying!” Which was exactly how i felt checking in on this cutie. He is just as adorable as when i first met him, but now he sits up so nicely and smiles so generously. He looks to his Mama for comfort and his Dad for good cheer. As an adult, unless you notice my newest gray hairs, i’m sure you don’t notice time passing so obviously. But it does make me wonder… What skills have i mastered in the past six months? 😉

Little Boys

Little boys who are spirited and have their own agenda are my specialty. That perfectly describes two of my housemates. 😉 i enjoy watching boys at play, and waiting for the right moment to snap a photo. The photos might not end up entirely traditional, but they show a perspective of what was important to the child at the moment.

Saturday i got to hang out with a couple of brothers. One was on the brink of three and the other an adorable six months. The session was a challenge in that neither wanted to sit and pose- but i enjoyed them just the same. i got to watch and wait… and play trucks with a truck that had no tires. (i think i got the raw end of that deal) Mom worked hard to get the six-month-old to cooperate- which he did- and his adorable outfits helped make the session a success!

Taking Chances

i can’t figure out if i am one for taking chances or not. i like to think about things. As a matter of fact, when my friend Rima of Rima Designs, LLC suggested i toss together a few items to sell at our childhood parish center fair, i immediately rejected the idea. The fair was a mere ten days away, and i would need a few months to consider the idea. Then, i’d need a few months to plan it. And then a few more months to execute my well thought through plan.

But, i went for it anyways.

The fair was today.

i am so glad i did it! As i was reminded, change cannot come without taking chances. My still-life photography is very personal to me. i take these photos not because i am hired to do so, but because something intrigues or inspires me. i have hung a few shows in the past, where i hung up my pieces and then walked away for a month. i blog about the photos i take, but i cannot hear what the reader thinks. Today i had to stand by my pieces and listen to people discuss them, consider them and maybe walk away from them unimpressed.

i was overwhelmed with kind words and praise. i listened to a few suggestions and critiques and took it all in stride. i moved away from my Lithuanian Parish over eight years ago when i relocated to Jackson. Many people didn’t know i am a photographer.

A familiar face approached and read my business card. She said, “LAF Lines… that’s the perfect name for your business. That’s how I remember you. Even as a little girl you would walk to receive communion and have a smile on your face. You were always so happy.”

i am smiling inside and out at the close of a truly wonderful day.