Wow, musings four days in a row. I don’t believe I’ve done this since my very first year of blogging, but it goes to show what staying home sick will do to a mind…
And think I have! I have been searching much lately for the ‘meaning’ or more accurately the purpose of my photography. Yes, it has been an immense creative outlet for me and has led to meeting many people who have become close friends. My world has indeed been blessed by expanding during a time in many people’s lives where their circle of friends is diminishing, so I am thankful. And as others have advised me; art for the sake of putting oneself ‘out there’ has many benefits for myself as well as those who happen to view my work. But at this point in my life and in my journey, I am seeking something more; a use for my work beyond presenting what I do online.
Last night a friend from Toronto informed me of a site he has been interested in for some time, BlueEarth.org. After roaming around the site, I discovered that what their mission entails spoke directly to my personal goals:
The link between compelling documentary photography and our collective motivation to change attitudes, behavior, even policies – is strong. Eddie Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph of a Vietcong execution in Saigon forever changed how the world viewed the Vietnam War. Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado’s images of the impoverished portray human life with fresh dignity and compassion.
Maintaining this link is central to the mission of Blue Earth Alliance.
And as I began to look upon some of the work done by photographers associated with Blue Earth Alliance, a tinge of shame came upon me. While I have been shooting and posting on various online blogs, their photographers have been using their skills for purposes much larger than themselves, causes which help others. I have first hand experience with how powerful an image can be and believe with all of my heart that in some small way a single image can have a positive influence on another and in turn a community.
In March of this year BEA will hold a juried PhotoAlliance Portfolio Review in San Francisco and I will apply to have my work first accepted to be judged and if it is deemed acceptable, listen to those whose work I admire face to face in that tactile way no electronic method can replicate. And if I am fortunate enough, I too can join those who tell a story for those less fortunate, less enabled which may in some small way bring hope or change to a single person.
Yes, I realize that the three years of photography have NOT been for naught, but provided me the method to improve my skills, to meet people who have become friends and in this specific case introduced me to an organization that may lead me to the purpose I seek. For the very first time in a long time I am nervous about my work. Oh sure, I had butterflies for my exhibit, but that was for different reasons. There is much at stake in telling a story, especially one that no matter how small can affect the future of others.
So I will labor over my 20 submissions and wait and hope. There are many things out there which are much larger than myself and I want to be part of that cause, if only to change a single attitude.