It’s Almost 2012: Do Epic Shit

It’s not too late to post one more piece, damn it! This year has been insanely interesting. My photography has taken quite a spin: pinup, events, portraits, social movements, you name it. I’m looking forward to 2012.  My intentions this coming year are this:

  • More art; Less Bullshit.
  • Laugh more
  • Finish updating my new site!!!

I got into this mess to create art and use my camera as a visual voice. My focus on the conceptual has been nil, despite the fact that’s what drives me. I want to sing to the world in 2-dimensioanal flurries; I want to include you, dear reader, because those flurries are nothing without the inspiration and support of those around me.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting my madness throughout the years. Have a blessed and hilarious 2012.

With love and shutter clicks,


Safelights, Magic, and Jazz

Hailey NiswangerI picked up a camera when my heart was breaking. When I couldn’t figure out what to do with my life anymore. This time, I decided to make a career out of something I’d been playing with since childhood. Something I learned from my dad when he was printing in the darkroom he’d built when I was a kid. I learned to shoot with his Olympus OM2, a camera I still revere but do not own. I learned to watch images appear slowly in the warm glow from the Safelight, enthralled by this apparent magic.

Later, when I decided to go to school to hone my craft, I found myself intoxicated by the smell of developer and fixer, regardless of the poisoness fumes. I was still smitten with the “magic,”” even though I was knowledgeable of the truth. At this point, my photography became my voice. My means of communicating with the world from which I often felt detached. The truth is, my memories of my dad are antiquated and fading fast. The positive relationship I remember truly ended when I was 7 and has been spotty and dysfunctional ever since. With him, there is hope, as he and I both are trying to mend this relationship. Still, both parents left me feeling orphaned and isolated, making my writing and photography the only true means of honest connection.

When I shoot now, I shoot with my heart wide open, hoping to create a real connection with those I photograph. I’ve built a remarkable family though via my marriage to Joseph and my friends, who have supported me and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. I’m beyond grateful.

Recently, while working with Janice Littlejohn during the jazz clinic and benefit for her documentary But Can She Play, I was shown the power of determination stemming from the desire to follow dreams. Janice is a true force of nature, highlighting women in the arts, supporting women in the arts, as a woman in the arts. Hello, sisterhood! I learned a lot during those two days, particularly regarding dreams.
We all have them; we all need to honor them; we all can play. And most of all: We can’t ever give up. There’s just no room for that.

Creative Swirls

It occurred to me that I should probably write more often. I mean, what’s the point of a blog if I don’t use it, right? My goal: to put forth a blog a week, small, medium, or large.

These days, I have great intentions in terms of what I want to shoot but little time to do it. Life is clearly in session. I have stacks of magazines waiting to be torn apart for my body image project, a couple shoots lined up, and a new LiveBooks Scaler site to rebuild. As I do that, I’m also planning on scanning the myriad negatives I have sitting around so I can add more meaningful work to my site.

I’ve recently added Google+ to my social media madness, but I haven’t really used it to its full potential. Facebook, Twitter, etc., still seem to be the primary places to post new content, et al. Still, Google+ is quite an interesting social media forum, and more than anything, it strikes me as less shallow and more meaningful in content than Facebook. In fact, I’ve was added to this amazing list of photographers to “circle” on Google+. It’s both and honor and exhilarating, to say the least, particularly since I suck at self-promotion. Fortunately, those close to me continue to push me to self-promote, promote me themselves, and encourage me to keep going, regardless of economical denigration and creative congestion.

I continue to write recovery blogs for Visions, which feeds my need to be of service and helpful in the community, particularly to adolescents in turmoil and their parents who are trying to help them. Ah, youth. I’ve also begun contributing to FeministFatale when my activism nerve has an itch. Really, there’s never a day where I’m not in some creative space, though I do wish more of it was behind the lens. I’m ardently working to make this happen.

Recent shoots include a jazz clinic and benefit for the documentary But Can She Play, which truly warmed the cockles of my heart. It combines all that I love: women in the arts and Jazz. Pics to be posted soon.

With love and shutter clicks,