Friday, March 6, 2015

The Shy Poet & Unexpected Treasures


What follows is the twisted tale of how my photographs came to be published in a best selling poetry book. If you find this to be far-fetched and completely random, well, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. It is, nonetheless, entirely true.

Like all good stories, we must begin with a prologue:

Not so long ago, but in a part of my life seems so very far away, I designed the album artwork for a band. (Like for real, it's on iTunes and everything.) 

You see, my significant other was a friend of the guitarist, & we'd seen them perform countless times. They weren't a "hair band", though oddly all had fantastical hair. Each performance I'd think “I have to bring a camera and capture all of this.” So, naturally, I did just that; taking photos during bar gigs, playing at being Annie Liebowitz or something. 

Maybe they just liked my chutzpah, or probably because they wanted me to knock it off during shows, I found myself invited to shoot during their rehearsals. 

Yada yada yada... my proximity to the band led to me doing not only some photography, but all the graphic design for the band's EP. 

As it happens when artists work well together on one project, the guitarist and I became collaborators on any number of things. Some, like the band’s EP, were brought to fruition. Others, well, not so much. You know how it goes with “artistes” and their artistic endeavors: personalities clash, passions and tempers flare, relationships explode... Finally the project, no matter how utterly brilliant or beautiful, is abandoned. 

Flash forward about 6 years. Which is also a rewind to just a few months ago. But that’s confusing, so never mind. 

So my friend Chasity (aka The Shy Poet) announces she has a deal to publish a book of her original poetry. In our little corner of the Internet this is a very big deal. Her poetry is universal, approachable, often heartbreaking & lovely. 

Not terribly long into her work on the book, she publicly declares a need for images that are not previously published or copyrighted. 

I was sure I’d have a photo or two that she could use & if it would help her, why not? So I threw my hat in the ring & offered up my photography. As did about 90 other people. I mean that literally. And I am being totally honest when I say I NEVER imagined she’d want to use any of my work. Well, maybe one or something, to be nice. I offered because I wanted to help my friend. The fact that this was for print publication was so far out of my thoughts it barely registered.  

So you can understand my total fecking shock when she tells me she’s not only hoping to use some of my photos, she’d really like to use only my photos.

Oh, and can we do this in a matter of days?! Deadlines… 

My first thought (after OMG, yes!!!) was “Whoa... she wants 12??? That means she needs to see a collection to choose from. No, no, no… Oh dammit, I can’t pull together a portfolio of photos for her to pick from in a matter of hours!” Yes, friends and neighbors, full on panic was the emotion. Elation? Yes. But massive panic. 

Then it hit me: The abandoned project.

The guitarist & I had been working on an audio-visual piece under the working title of “Pure.” Had it been destined for gallery installation or YouTube? We weren't sure, but both of us had been pumped. For my part this meant all my spare time was spent editing photos and video montages. With the project shelved, hundreds of photographs went into cold storage on my hard drive. I was too disheartened to do anything with them. 

In that abandoned computer file was the answer to my anxiety attack. I had an archive of photos that were unused, unseen, and easily sorted in a matter of hours. I was able to present Chasity with a portfolio of photos I loved but hadn’t had a reason to work with for years. Finally some of these pieces would get to be a part of something extraordinary: a collaboration with a friend & an artist that I could trust with my work. As intended. 

Problems resolved, I hurried to get things sorted out so Chas could make her deadline. It was days after she'd seen all the photos & maybe not even until the whole project was wrapped that I realized how remarkable the situation was.

Truly the stars had to align for these photos to finally find a proper home. 

Serendipity. Queen of Silver Linings. These are my monikers because I know I have stumbled my way into some fairly remarkable things. I've always come out of the darkness of yesterday into a brighter tomorrow. I continue to be honestly surprised (and humbled) by the path my life has taken. 




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5 comments:

  1. How amazing! It was truly destiny :) I love how things don't always turn out as planned, but always turn out. Sometimes our most disheartening moments turn into something beautiful down the line. <3 I am so happy and excited for both you AND Chasity. I feel special to call you friends. (And I totally can say that I knew you BEFORE you were famous. lol)

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  2. So happy for you and Chastity! A blend of 2 great talents. : ) Congrats!

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  3. I love a good back story. Especially one involving friends and good endings! Love you both.

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  4. I love a good back story. Especially one involving friends and good endings! Love you both.

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