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Caught in the net
The summer of 2020. I was 40. My daughter’s were 13 and 10. The world was only a few months into what was becoming the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was history unfolding in slow motion for all of us to experience. It was also the summer of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. There had been controversies in the months leading up to the Olympics regarding racism, sexism and human rights.
But that summer of 2020 was (also) just a summer in the days of our lives. It was my daughters’ summer vacation. It was a time of their coming of age and challenging old “norms.” That summer I realized I was the mother of teenage girls. How I came to realize that is why the series “caught in the net” was made.
La Jolla Palms
It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in November 2021. I had the opportunity to spend three hours in La Jolla before heading to the airport to return home. I rented a telephoto lens to shoot soccer games at a tournament my daughter was playing in earlier that weekend. With my rented super lens in hand I fell in love with the La Jolla Cove. The air was crisp and the sun, though setting, penetrated every one of us.
There we were, positioned and ready to capture the sunset in La Jolla. And almost out of nowhere a large mass of gray matter appears out on the horizon, and only minutes later is the fog making its way to the shore. Within 15 minutes La Jolla was transformed into another city altogether. Everything was gray and damp. Suddenly it was freezing.
My interest as a photographer was piqued, and I was immediately drawn to the palm trees that lined the roads. The contrast they provided to the gray fog was haunting, as it was nearly the only thing one could see. Later when I compared the photos from that afternoon in La Jolla I kept seeing the palm trees before and after in my mind. The color and the absence of color. I witnessed it. It was incredible. The series, “The La Jolla Palms” was created to memorialize my experience. And to share it.
I refer to most of my photoshoots as “Transformations.” I took the term from mathematics because its definition aligns with how I see myself as a photographer and the relationships I have with my subjects. Take for example, Chloe. Her mom had reached out to hire me for senior year portraits. After explaining to her who I am as a photographer and how I work, she took time to talk to Chloe about it, to let her decide if she wanted to participate in that type of experience.
The experience is one of mutual trust and respect. The invitation is to get acquainted before the shoot, and to collaborate on a joint vision. On the day of the shoot we both promise to be open and flexible, aware that each of us has a role to play in making the final product what it will be.
In my meeting with Chloe before our shoot I had a vision of her in this vintage Valentino tennis dress I had. I asked her if she was open to a look that I create for her through my lens as an artist. (I generally try to include an average of three different looks in my shoots.) She said yes, and the rest is history!
Chloe is my most favorite transformation to date because of the powerful energy that appeared for our shoot. The series is my attempt to capture it. And to share it.
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