Congratulations to my sister-in-law, Janice Ferri Reed who co-authored the new book, Keeping the Millennials. It is a fascinating insight into a new generation. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down...... I highly recommend it!
This morning while waiting for my printer to print I picked up Words And Pictures by William Hicks ( photo editor at Life ) Copyright, 1952. After twenty years of collecting dust, it was time. If only I knew there was so much to glean from this book twenty years ago ...... no use lamenting over lost time. Here's what I found when I opened to a random page....
"Know your people's surroundings, analyze their emotions, understand their motivations. Then by emphasis, get the significances of their actions. These add up to interpretation."
"If I have a secret in the taking of pictures it is anticipating the psychological moment"
- Eugene Smith
I wonder, are these things I am doing already on a subconscious level? Again, it doesn't hurt to reintroduce these principles and be conscious of them.
I am one step closer to my dream of creating an eco-studio. This weekend my family and I discovered Green-Phoenix Permaculture Farm in High Falls, NY. We learned so much about sustainable building from knowledgeable people that share a similar vision. As soon as I set eyes on the farm I knew we had arrived at the place where I would be guided into making my dream a reality. It is one of those things that is clear in my mind but I have no idea of where to begin. So I guess I could say this is the beginning for us. Green-Phoenix is on the property of Epworth Camp. Three or four years ago it was looking like Epworth was going to be forced to sell their land. A few veteran campers got wind of this and held a retreat to figure out a way to save the camp, their solution was to pump new blood into Epworth by starting permaculture educational center on the property. There are projects and workshops going on all the time and anyone who is willing to work is welcome to stay at the camp to volunteer and learn about sustainable living. My family and I look forward to spending a good part of our summer there......
"Like the people you shoot and let them know it". - Robert Capa
As a portrait photographer I found this to be an extremely helpful bit of advise. I think that comes natuarally for me but to be aware of it while shooting brings better results. Here's another one that I keep posted over my desk and refer to at least once a day.
"I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration"
- Steve Martin
Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Today I leave to go shooting in the rolling hills outside Lexington, Kentucky...... how I wish I had an 8x10 camera for this.....my next purchase.
After much anticipation and only several months over due, the birthing process is complete. My site mdelgphoto.com has gone live...... Hallelujah! Speaking of Hallelujah, Any lingering cynicism that might have existed for me about organized religion fell to the way side this past Saturday when I witnessed my son receiving the holy Eucharist for the first time. There is something so beautiful and sacred about the rite of any passage, with a few exceptions.
This weekend my pious son will be making his first communion. It never seizes to amaze me what I can learn from my kid. As I have spent the last twelve years estranged from my Catholic roots, my one and only child is helping me break down the defensive wall against my punitive Catholic upbringing. How can I continue to be such a cynic when he has been so earnest in his believes?
I was comforted by the words of Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. When she was speaking about teaching spirituality to children, she explained religion as a process in asking questions rather than getting answers. Eisenberg was encouraging parents to explore their heritage religion before giving up on it. She described choosing a religion to be like choosing a language. Families should Choose the traditions that best suit their family and disregard the ones that don't.
As it stands, I'm not embracing though I am inspired to explore.
Half finished jewelry box I made for Nico to give to him on the morning of his first communion.
Freddy Hubbard's memorial service this past Monday A friend from the Marble Hill Projects
There is so much more to being a photographer than just making images. The marketing thing can just be exhausting. I enjoy viewing sites and following blogs of photographers I admire but sometimes it just gets too distracting and overwhelming. There are so many of us out there doing amazing work. Deciding what direction to take can be paralyzing. I am most successful in my work when I put my blinders and just take the pictures that are calling me. The challenge comes in when I want my work to be seen. I enjoy Zoe Strauss' work and her approach to getting it out there for the world to see. She wanted a show, she gave herself a show, under I-95 in Philadelphia. How cool is that, she stripped away all the pretense and made her work accessible to the general public selling the pictures for $5 a pop.
Lately I've been questioning the point of this blog and I realized as I put my thoughts out there, I'm holding myself accountable...... kind of like a public to do list. Also it serves as a home to orphan images. Originally I embarked on this blogging venture for content to drive traffic to my site which I haven't pursued.... too forced and insincere.
Imagine how many drinks in plastic bottles are consumed in the little league field of one town in one season. You would think they would have recycle bins next to every garbage...... not in this case.......
After three years of taking a passive roll in watching this atrocity play itself out game after game and year after year I decided to take this baby on. Okay, where do I begin? I guess the first call should be to the little league field manager. Initially he wasn't amenable and couldn't see beyond more work and money. Once I thanked him for his volunteer work, convinced him I wasn't criticizing and I was willing to take it on myself and that it was our duty as the adults to set the example for the next generation the door opened a crack. I made sure to point out that it's actually more expensive to cart away garbage than it is to recycle. After a while of back and forth he agreed to make an inquiry to the carting company.I was fully expecting the project to stop there. Much to my surprise, on opening day after the usual house keeping announcements just before the National Anthem there was one last announcement....... "Wallkill Little League wants to help the planet, we are now going green". The crowd of three hundred was silent(in preparation for the National Anthem), I took it upon myself to hoop, holler and cheer, the crowd was obliged to joined in. LET'S PLAY BALL. One phone call is all it took!
A close friend passed away a couple of weeks ago from melanoma. In a moment of reflection in the last e-mail, she wrote, " What we have to be happy for is all right there in front of us so just enjoy and don't sweat the small stuff." Something pretty simple that I've heard before, in this context it resonated....… I 'm working on applying the notion to my photography. I have a tendency at times to over think where I'm heading with a project, what the outcome will be, what if it fails , etc., all that self doubt that comes with being an artist( in many cases). So often I talk myself out of something before I even begin. It truly is all right there in front of us and we just need to trust the ideas, give them a chance to come alive and eliminate the self inflicted judgement. It is our job to just put the work out there. So that's where I'm at, just trying to enjoy the process document what speaks to me.
Monday is Freddy Hubbard's memorial at St John the Divine I'll be there shooting.
The Earth Day parade was a slight disappointment, a very watered down version of last year.
The spirit was there and the tradition of the tree planting ceremony and parade are now in place for years to come.
Before I begin I would like to thank my dedicated followers.
I am so sorry for abandoning all of you this winter. No excuses, I will try hard never to do it again and if I do, please give me a nudge to show you care........thank you Eve thank you Lizzi!
If you are a newby, welcome!
I figured Earth Day would make for a suitable day to resume my blog. Anyone read Elizabeth Kolbert's comment in the New Yorker this week? It could likely inspire me to start planning now for next year's Skraptacular 40th anniversay Earth Day Parade, doesn't Macy's begin their planning the Day after Thanksgiving?
This year I will be celebrating Earth Day on Monday April 27th with the PS 178 community. We'll have a parade first thing and hopefully I'll be able to convince the princiPAL to allow the children to stay in the park for the day with a no waste picnic lunch and a tree planting ceremony......I'm also envisioning tree rubbings, tree identifying and other fun Earth Day activities. I'll let you know how it all goes.....
My dreams of organizing a construction camp to help build a studio/learning space using sustainable materials is beginning to emerge into a reality more than a dream. Anyone one know an architect to help me with the initial plans?
Please don't think I have forgotten about my show I was planning this spring it has just been postponed. It's been a busy winter, well not really but everything takes longer than you think.
More good news, my website is days away from being launched! As my followers you will all be first to have access.
and MORE good news, my nephew Ben's film The Harpist wins Best Film, Critic's Choice, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Sound at the 2009 Boston College Baldwin Awards. Great job Ben!
Mrs. Mcfee was my favorite inauguration encounter. While Obama was speaking, she pulled me close to her heart and pointed to him and said, "my husband handed that man his high school diploma." Sadly, he died a month before Obama was elected
Mrs. Mcfee: 2nd row on the right in the fur hat
Here I go, entering into the blogesphere, podcasting, viral marketing new world, at what feels like a vigorous pace, one I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with. Embrace it, I say, forge ahead don't be left in the dust......
I'm still trying to overcome my technical difficulties # 1 being my malfunctioning hard drive argh.... If any of you are interested I do have images from the inauguration up on my Facebook page or on my flickr site.......choose your poison.
I have never seen as much fur as I did down in Washington last week. But, the feeling was just too good for even PETA, no spray paint that day.
After the event I must have seen 100 single gloves on the ground in just the area where I was standing.
I was working for Obama on election day with my son Nico and neice Isobella in Philadelphia. Because we were working hard there wasn't much time to document the historical day. I felt such deep regret over this that I vowed I would do what ever it took to be down in Washington during the inauguration. As the weeks passed, still with out a solid plan, accomodations not coming through, the weather getting colder, and 5 million people expected to attend, my grand idea was rapidly disipating until I abandoned the idea altogether. An exciting turn of events happened just after I let go. My lovely friend Melissa who I hadn't been intouch with in a while handed me an inauguration package. So my Obama photo series continues....... Stay tuned, images from the inauguration will be posted here beginning this Sunday after the kick off party at the Lincoln Memorial.
Though the inauguration plans are consuming my time recently, I continue to work dilegently on my upcoming show(date to be determined) of medical imagery on salted paper prints. This show has been waiting to come into fruition for ten years now!! Also, my new website is expected to be launched this month.
I look forward to sharing my images with all of you. Sorry, no pictures tonight due to a broken hard drive.
As this is the first post of the year.......
Happy new year to all my peeps and best wishes for an AWESOME 2009!
Michelle Del Guercio, a sensitive and intuitive medical, lifestyle and portrait photographer, is passionate about shooting all types of people and their environments.
Obsessed with seeking out the truth in a frozen moment, Michelle has been living and breathing photography for the past 15 years. She is now embarking on a new endeavor which she plans on dovetailing with her photography. She is starting a non-profit called Skraptacular, an exciting eco-education program that brings community together by imagining a waste-free world.
She is inspired by nature and dedicated to sustainable living, using every opportunity to incorporate these elements into her life as well as her work as a photographer.