Indianapolis Lifestyle Photographer | Project Ten
This month for the Project Ten Challenge the theme is BROWN. Not sure what this is all about? See last month’s LAYERS post! This go-round I had plenty of time to ponder my subject and how I wanted to portray brown. There’s no shortage of it this time of year – the leaves are gone, the trees are bare; my surroundings are one monotone brown landscape. If you know me well enough, you know this would never satisfy me. I’m using this monthly challenge to channel my inner artist and art teacher. So, although the brown landscapes of Colorado fall are gorgeous (and were brown prior to this week’s snow and ice storms), I need my photos to always have layers… not just for last month’s theme.
If you’re all about the visual aspect of this post and just want to see some damn brown images, already, then skip the rest of this text. There’s plenty of brown in the images below to satisfy your occipital lobe and move on to the rest of your evening. If your frontal lobe is up for it, keep reading.
When I taught, I would always stress to my students that their art needed to speak for itself. Most of my assignments required a certain medium or a technique, but more importantly, were expected to revolve around a theme or personal context. The starting point in my classes was writing out ten things that your piece could be about – what was it going to communicate – something that was happening to or had happened to the artist in life. From there, narrow it down. When I shoot sessions for my business, it’s not just about the image. Sure, I want it to look good – it should be well-composed, in-focus, have correct white balance, and be edited to enhance the natural image. Deeper than that, I want strangers to be able to view the images and see the emotions, hear what the subjects are saying or thinking, or be prompted to leave the viewing wondering what significance that alpaca ornament held…
So for this month, I pondered my theme almost to the deadline. My idea sparked at our company holiday part earlier this week. We received these more-than-adorable alpaca ornaments as our ‘party favor’ and while sitting next to Monica as she opened her gift, she remarked, laughingly, that it matched her skin. She then began to tell me a story of how when she was in early elementary school, she got into a disagreement with a boy in her class. Who can remember what it was over – something minor, most likely – but it ended with him heatedly telling her that she was just a ‘brownie’. As a child, she interpreted it to be synonymous with any other child-like insult. She took it to be just another name-calling.
As an adult, she recognizes the derogatory nature of the comment and the memory has stuck with her.
Many of us have experienced discrimination in our lives. Maybe it’s the color of your skin, the shape of your body, the texture of your hair, the glasses you wear, the crutches you rely on, the house you live in, the family that has raised you… the list goes on and on. Whether we talk about these experiences out loud or we keep them in our closets, too many people have these stories. Should a child even know what this means? Monica didn’t… should the boy who made the comment? Where do bullies come from? Do we need them? I vote no.
So here you have it. Images filled with brown. Brown on the surface, brown underneath, and plenty of brown layers in between. What started with a simple alpaca ornament, ended with a lesson to me, hopefully to you, and a series of photographs of a girl with the most perfect skin I may have ever seen. Complete with deliciously (stale) brownies from the wonderful Stanley Hotel, coffee, and a fire to boot. Throw in a brown skirt and similarly-toned jewelry onto wood paneled walls and floors, and your eyes have melted into the wonderful brown bliss of this aesthetic experience.
casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Lifestyle Photographer specializing in family, couple, lifestyle, senior, and wedding photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.