Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Hundred & Twenty Nine Days

O n e   H u n d r e d  & T w e n t y - N i n e   D a y s

 It's taken me on quite a journey. The greatest lesson I've learned since January is, once again, that the journey is the destination. Two years ago a man named Jon Arensen said that to a motley group of college students that they we embarked on one of the greatest adventures of their lives. 

Two years ago I didn't know where I would go, who I would meet there and how people would change for me. I have anticipated little but expected much. My mom always says, "Life happens when you're making plans" and isn't that the truth! It's so much easier to direct an object already in motion and so, I roll along at different paces.

A professor told me, "Let's get to another point. it has to do with how easy art should be. I think it should not be easy. I think, and I know in fact, you have to have something to bite against. You need some grit, some sandpaper, something to struggle with otherwise there is no progress at all. If you're striving to make it easy, it will become easy and you will make no progress... that's what we should be engaged in."

Agh, it's so not easy. It's pushing and pushing and when I get frustrated with pushing I go back and shove more of my weight into it to start pushing again. I'm realizing that satisfaction of any measure isn't going to come from doing anything easy- it's the tough stuff long the way and the struggle itself that makes a life! 

(The following is a collection of my favourite blog posts)




As time moves along, it's taking us with it for the ride. I have no idea where I'll be in the next year beyond August. France, Spain, New Zealand, Morocco- wherever the wind and ground travel may take my brother and I. I honestly don't know what will happen to us. It's an adventure of a lifetime! Another one! Photography is pulsing in my blood now, but in what direction will I go? Who will we meet? Where will we sleep and work and what will people feed us? 

What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? -it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies. - On the Road, Jack Kerouac

This last day of classes is really a flag in a crazed, clenched hand dangling over the racetrack that flicks out of sight in a blur and you're on your own to figure life out. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

While You Were Fighting: Home at Last II/II

They'd been worried about how long it would take for Esther to warm up to Jordan and she wasn't that thrilled at first. Who would be when you woke up your mom at 5:45AM?

Juli ran in as soon as she woke up.

It took Esther all of 15 minutes to warm up to Jordan. 

Getting an eyelash during breakfast

Sarah is so tired. At least Jordan's doing the diaper change!

At long last!

They're all back together again- for good! Everyone had so many emotions going on it was crazy to watch. Sarah was really tired this morning after Esther woke up at 5:45AM. The day before had been emotionally rough on Sarah and I think the fatigue carried over into today. 

It started yesterday around 2 or 3PM when Jordan's plane in Atlanta was delayed and he missed his connecting flight. "Say you're coming home to see your family and it's been a year!" Sarah told him on the phone. Around 8PM Jordan called to say instead of coming in the next day as had been rescheduled, he'd gotten onto a flight that would get him into Rochester at 11PM. The girls were all over the place emotionally which exacerbated Sarah's strained emotional state. 

A friend of Sarah's came over while she was putting the girls to bed and making a sign for Jordan and then Sarah's sister Debbie and her friend Shannon came over to finish the sign. Michelle also came down and she and Sarah put up the big welcome home sign. Then Sarah and I finally headed off to Walmart and the airport. 

The plan had been to meet him at 5PM at the gate in Rochester with the girls and with family and friends. That didn't happen. Later, Jordan called as we were leaving Walmart and said his plane had landed early. Of course it did! Sarah drove like mad through heavy rain and when we got inside we ran down the airport from concourse A to B and Jordan had snuck around the corner to ham it up like he'd been there forever but then they ran and kissed and I had to try and hold the camera steady. Jordan's luggage miraculously made it to the airport and we drove back home. He told a couple of stories along the way and had a little dinner with Sarah as they switched phones. Juli didn't even notice when he snuck into his and Sarah's room to move Juli into her own bed- something Sarah has been doing. 

I slept on the couch and woke up for the hugging from the girls and church by 9AM. Amazing that Sarah has gotten those girls ready and to church on time this last year. She something about how glad she was to not do it alone since she's done it alone for about fifty services.  A year is a long time! I hope she gets a nap today. 

Welcome home Specialist Jordan Fulton!

While You Were Fighting: Home at Last I/II

Sarah tried on a few different outfits early afternoon in preparation for our airport safari. This was shortly before she found out Jordan's plane had been delayed which would cause him to miss his connecting flight.

Esther had the worst meltdown I've seen yet- all afternoon.

Gabby was already upset about leaving the other kids playing outside and the possibility of no Chinese food when she asked if they weren't going to get Daddy and Sarah had to tell her no. 

Sarah had already made dinner for Jordan's homecoming but it was for him so, to Gabby's delight, out we went to the Honeoye-Falls for the Chinese buffet. 

Jordan called and said he managed to get on a flight that would get him out of Atlanta and into Rochester at 11PM- six hours later than planned. Sarah was so done.

Shannon Puffer, a friend of Sarah's sister Debbie came over with Deb to finish the sign for Jordan.

Michelle Chapman came over with the sign she and her son Samuel had made and they hung it outside before we went to the airport.

Waiting for his luggage.

The girls had already been asleep for a long time when they got back so Sarah and Jordan finally switched phones. When she went down to meet his first plane in from Afghanistan they'd also gone out to get new phones and hers wasn't available yet so he while he was there for the last two weeks, he got it for her. "She made me have the girl phone!" he whispered. 

*Walk home before going through the Atlanta airport because it will most probably be faster.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

While You Were Fighting: Days 5 & 6

3 May 2011

 10 May 2011

As of last weekend, Jordan is in the U.S.! Sarah made a last minute decision to go down and see him and her family took care of the girls. Just a few more days until he flies into Rochester!


Highland Park
 Rochester, N.Y.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Imagine RIT

8 Beat Measure, RIT's oldest, all male a cappella group before their performance at the opening ceremonies.

Carlotta Garcia, 9

Erin Woo (9), Carlotta Garcia (9) and Rodrigo Garcia

Fencing in the student life center,

Tessa McArdle with her mom Kate, two and a half 

Gordon Field House

Photographed all day at Imagine RIT

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tango Cafe

Light dripped from the ceilings and ran onto the floor in frothy, white pools and streams. It illuminated and shadowed slow, languid dancing and the staccato kicks of ballroom heels. 

The Tango Cafe on Gregory street was alive with Vaudville music pouring through the speakers and the black and white films of the 30's and 40's flickering on the billowing white sheet that hung in the middle of the room. They watched and they danced with their own lovers and the loves of others. 

I used a tilt-shift lens for the first half of the night and a 35mm with gelled flash. These are pretty much raw with only the colour balance adjusted on the ones without flash- no cropping. Just the way I like it. 

Many thanks to Prisca Edwards for inviting me to shoot with her tonight!