Have you seen my display downtown yet? I was so honored to be asked by friend and local installation artist, Eris Ball, to have my portraits displayed in her most recent installation. The installation is located at 105 W. Main St. in Elkin, NC. The installation features 35mm slides from Eris’s life beginning in the 60′s going through the 80′s. It shows scenes from her life as she grew up and includes some of her families most precious memories including when her and her sister were born, to her aunt’s wedding, beach trips and grandparents’ visits, birthdays, Halloweens, Christmases, Easters, friends, family gatherings, cousins, magic shows, Disney World…lots of little pieces of her family coming together to create a slide show of their lives.
My window features a collection of photographs that is displayed with a vintage bike that I sometimes use in some of my sessions. It also includes rolls of used black and white film salvaged from Erik Dahlager’s dark room floor. The exposed light bulbs hanging throughout the scene give the display an urban feel.
As I am writing this post it has just dawned on me to express why I feel photographs are so important. Not photography, but actual printed photographs. So often people say that they just want a disc of images. I feel that this is such a disservice to my clients. Disc’s won’t be around forever. Think about eight tracks, audio tapes, and even the slides that were mentioned above. Although they may still be in existence, they are not easy to use due to the technology no longer being around or available. It has died, and will never come back. Our disc’s will be the same. Do you know that Apple isn’t even putting disc drives into some of their computers anymore? Even if the disc were to have a life forever, how often do you go and print out your images? I know that for myself I am terrible with it. I hardly have any images printed. I rely on my computer for keeping my most precious memories. How dumb is that?!?!? My hard drive could go bad. I could have a fire in my house and everything burn. The worst part is, that because so many of my images are on my computer, I don’t get to enjoy them the same way that I can with my photo albums which I can just pick up and thumb through. It is so much nicer to have the albums in my hand then have to sit down at my computer and try and find what I am looking for. You might say, but I want the images to show off on facebook to all of my friends. That’s great, I know that I am the same way, so I give all of my clients a facebook file for every image that they purchase. However, the photos that I enjoy the most are those that are hanging in my home. I get to look at them every single day and for me, were worth every penny that I spent on them. I feel besides taking beautiful photographs for my clients, my other job, and possibly the most important, is to guide them and help them pick out a wall portrait or collage, along with their prints, so that they can enjoy their professional pictures everyday. As you can see from the images above, a printed picture you will have and look at forever. It is our heart’s favorite people that we can gaze at everyday. Nothing will ever replace that. How sad if we don’t have our pictures printed and then we wind up with something like these slides, where our images are so close to us, but yet we can’t see any of them?
Anyway, I have completely digressed from what this post was going to be about. I do feel that the above is worth thinking about though. Go check out the display if you get a chance. It will be coming down soon as Eris prepares to exhibit another artful installation.