Monochrome Monday #67

Good afternoon! I apologize for the lack of Monochrome Monday last week. I find myself here in the last few weeks of the semester where everyone and their mama wants me to turn in some sort of major research paper or creative project. I am trying to stay optimistic and afloat with all of my assignments, so don’t be surprised if, for the next few weeks, my posting is scattered/infrequent. It’s not that I don’t want to post (or that I would rather be doing something else because, let’s be honest, who actually enjoys writing and grading papers?), it’s just that my terrible case of senioritis is coming back to bite me hard in the butt. But I do have an MM post for today, and I’m throwing it way back in time long, long ago…

Old Corey B&W

Ok, so we only threw it back to about 2010, but that’s long enough ago that I had to look it up.

You might remember that at some point last year, or at least I think it was last year, I began a series of posts revisiting some old photos. I had struck gold going through my external hard drive and decided to give those photos a second chance. Though I still have a few more posts to share in that series (I’ll get around to them eventually), I figured that I would reopen that door first by bring out this heavy beauty.

I remember this day well. It took place merely a few days after one of my early photo shoots, one about music (this was back in the day before I really knew what I wanted/expected from my themes and how to articulate those desires to my models). I had borrowed a camera from a family friend, a Fujifilm; certainly not my first choice of camera, but it felt good to hold nonetheless. I went to visit a friend who had missed the shoot because she had gotten double eyelid surgery and was recovering (because who wants stitches to be visible in their glamour shots). My friend Corey, pictured above and one of my most loyal models, met up with us, and with camera in hand, we decided to do an impromptu shoot just because we could.

There was always something so mysterious and gratifying about this sequence of photos. Not that I condone the use of cancer sticks, but this was worth it. I don’t typically give my friends crap about their smoking habits. Instead, I use it to my advantage in my photography (it seems sick and twisted, but it’s not like I can force my friends to stop coating their lungs in black any more than they can force me to stop biting my nails. I realize that that comparison is off, but we’ll just roll with it). Maybe it’s the wisps of smoke or the brightness of the lights of Centennial Park (where this photo was taken). Maybe it’s Corey’s silhouette or the chain link fence. I’m not sure, but this photo (and its siblings, whom you will see soon) has always seemed so hardcore to me. Maybe that’s why I dug it out of the vault to rediscover.

My work is always changing. Sometimes I like going back in time to reexamine the previous photos I’ve taken. Sometimes it’s because I want to see how far I’ve come as a photographer. I make fewer mistakes/have fewer accidents now and take photos with more intention. And that’s great, and it makes me feel like I haven’t just stalled out or that I’m never going to get any better. But sometimes I go back because I forget that every picture, though not perfect or top-notch, has some sort of magical quality to it. Sometimes I like to look back on former work just to see it with fresh eyes, you know, move on to something else then come back to it in the hopes of seeing something I didn’t see at first. In doing so, I think we discover something more amazing than we ever thought of before.

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