a match made in heaven

In photography, like writing, revision helps strengthen your images and clarify meaning. Do not be afraid to show your work to others. Having a trusted audience or knowledgeable friend holds inestimable value for photographers. Gather responses. Survey how people read your images. Revise on the computer or go back and shoot again as needed. Try, and try again. You are looking for something that you’ll know when you see it. Take the time that is needed to get what you want in terms of both communication and evocation.
— David Ulrich, Zen Camera

I agree with this philosophy of learning, but it can be gut-wrenching to expose my work to critique. This is where my photography book club comes into play. I envision a group of trusted friends who will give honest responses about my photographs, providing the objectivity that I might lack.

I’m working my way through Lesson Three of Zen Camera. I confess to procrastination on the reading and the exercises, but the minute I begin, I feel better. This is time well spent. And my book club is set to meet just after Christmas.

Lesson Three is on identity. Start close to home. Tell the stories you know.

The best advice I can give is to follow the thread of your interests, enthusiasms, and passions—and just begin. Don’t feel you need to go to places that others have identified as ‘good’ photographic subjects. In fact, often the photographs in these locations are highly conventional cliches. Be genuine. Photograph those subjects or themes that you care about, that challenge and inspire your artistic growth. Look at the world with a critical eye. What themes rise to the surface of your awareness? That’s a good place to start.
— David Ulrich, Zen Camera
Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
— Rumi

I love this line from Rumi because it feels like permission to be myself.

I tell people that I make images in and around my home because our budget is limited and exotic travels are not possible. But, when I consider what I love carefully, I can see that I would photograph those simple and ordinary moments of life no matter where I might travel.

I am often the least interested in the grandest and most obvious elements of any scene or adventure, and most drawn to the details and sincerity of the commonplace. It is the very notion that we are connected in our humanity by sameness—our bodies, the way we gather to eat and drink, cooking, growing and harvesting, walking in nature—that drives my photography.

It feels right to follow my natural enthusiasm and make pictures like these. Coffee brewed in a French press, rich with cream, a match made in heaven.

Prepared with great care and shared with the one I love.