I’ve just returned from an overwhelming weekend at San Diego Comic-Con on assignment for Getty Images and AARP. Before I turn in for a few solid days of catch-up sleep, I wanted to post a few highlights from the weekend. AARP is running my interviews from the con on their Instagram feed (@aarpphoto) which you should check out!
It’s been a pretty amazing honeymoon so far, with the nice folks in Paris even putting on a huge fireworks show for us on July 14th. So thoughtful! Not sure what “bastille” means, but I’m just gonna go ahead and assume it’s french for “congratulations, here’s a big fireworks show exclusively in your honor and thanks for coming to Paris on your honeymoon.” Yeah, it’s gotta be something like that.
Bad jokes aside, here’s a little preview as the honeymoon winds to a close. Sarah and I will be back to the real world very soon, when I will have more images from our stops along the way and some film (!!) to process and scan and then forget about for six months add to the blog/field notes tumblr.
This is my mom, or rather what’s left of my mom when an expired 4x5 sheet fails to perform.
…on second thought, that’s about exactly as well as I should expect expired film to perform.
I’ve used a handful of expired rolls (this was my first try with sheet film) since I started dabbling with film some 6 years ago. It’s a surprise when an expired roll works and produces some faded or shifted colors I couldn’t have dreamed of. Every now and then a roll would come back from the lab blank, often with an ethereal blue cast and the slightest hint of shapes in the emulsion. It’s almost like there’s a color for lost moments: that faded chemical blue.
It’s a color that evokes a double feeling of loss: the images are gone, with perhaps only a fragment left to salvage if you’re lucky. And that moment was lost as well, not lived and remembered but rather photographed. And if the photograph is gone what remains of that moment?
View from the passenger window from my ongoing, tentatively titled ‘Greetings from Virginia’ series
Donuts from my ongoing, tentatively titled ‘Greetings from Virginia’ series
We added to the family over the holidays early this year, adopting a pair of kitten brothers. I shot little snippets of their first time exploring their new home, because, y’know, you can’t resist the siren call to put cats online.
Happy to announce that this image, from my personal work ‘Gather’, has been recognized by AP30! It’s wonderful to be included in the collection of photographers this year, some of whom I’m honored to consider friends.
Can I get a hand here?
This is a fresh start.
Like a relationship that had long since stop being functional or even fun, I decided to end it with my old blog. I wanted to write my old blog a letter explaining my intent and emphasizing that, no really it’s me. But that just felt a little too extravagant. A few clicks and *poof*. It’s over.
So, this is a fresh start.
Well, mostly fresh. The posts I’ve added to start out this blog were transferred here to help provide a little context. They span the last couple years, covering my transition from newspaper staff to freelance. It’s been a bigger transition than the short amount of time would suggest. And reading back through my old blog shed light on just how far removed I am from my first steps in to this new world.
Authorship is now the watchword. Ideas are the currency. And I make every effort to eschew comparison to other photographers. My own feelings of jealousy and (professional) inadequacy were my only barriers to growth. Since this fresh start is all about growth, there’s no longer room for that shit.
Dive in with me. I want to share ideas and start conversations, support those who are making something awesome, and think a little deeper about my motivations and goals. And I’d love to hear from you along the way.
In 2012 the Young clan interred its patriarch, my grandpa Jay A. Young. The ceremony, officiated by one of my uncles, was attended by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. If I recall correctly, the most recent count on the number of his grandkids and great grandkids was in the 50s or 60s. It’s a big, wonderful and diverse family.
My grandpa passed away October 2011, after a struggle recovering from a stroke. His final months were a challenge, for both him and the family members who live nearby or who flew in to help care for him. Most of his final days were spent at home, first with the help of occasional caretakers, then with 24-hour care in addition to any family members (such as my mom) who were visiting. After an overnight stay at the hospital, he was discharged when the nurses found him walking through the halls on his way out the door. God only knows how he got himself out bed. He clearly wanted to die at home.
My mom made a couple of trips in those final months to stay with my grandma and grandpa at their house outside of D.C. She was present for the night he passed away. As she describes it, a burst of thunder and lightning signaled his last breath, but the storm that was expected to hit the area that night never came.
Since my earliest memory of my grandpa, I’ve felt like he held expectations for me to fulfill. He gave me a standard by which to live, and offered guidance, whether or not it was sought, on finding and keeping the right path. From what I understand, he mellowed out a bit in the years since my mom and her siblings were children. But that didn’t dull his wit or his desire to offer advice when he felt it necessary. Watching him play with his great grandchildren revealed the child still inside of him, and showed how much he loved his family. I had the impression that even after a lifetime of professional achievement, his pride and joy was the family that surrounded him.
I spent some time photographing my grandpa on what turned out to be his last day before he passed in 2011. I also shot some of the memorial gatherings immediately following his death, and the burial of his ashes in 2012. (See the following post for more photos)
I now carry a camera to family gatherings to act as a window on my heritage and my ties to a larger family than I had known when I was growing up.