"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Friday, April 25, 2014

hallelujah

For the past few days I've been putting the spit and polish on my presentation for ASMP, which I delivered last night. Everything about the evening was so nice. I can't thank Mark, Rachael Jane, Jonathan, Pilar and Jeremy enough for inviting me, taking care of all the arrangements and making me feel so special. Lucas Cosgrove designed the lovely invitation and FB page and did a lot of carrying around of chairs. All of these ASMP folks were super kind to me and did such a professional job of creating and executing the event.

It took place at Chad and Ryan's 8183 Studio, a really cool space in downtown Kansas City. There was plenty of room for me to display books and both loose and framed prints. Between the state-of-the-art projector and the fabulous sound system, it was a great venue in which to present my work. 

Though I warned the audience at the outset that they were going to be barraged with more than 250 power-point images over the course of the next 30 minutes, no one got up to leave (!) and in fact, they were incredibly attentive and engaged. The Q and A went on for quite a while; great questions were posed. I couldn't have asked for more last night. It was a perfect evening.

The audience was a sea of new faces. Here and there were familiar ones, though… folks I've long known in the KC photo community. It was great to get both old and new support last night. I'll be having quite a few coffee dates in the next few weeks, as I made some wonderful new contacts. I was on cloud nine when I left to drive home.

As always, Eddie was there. He schlepped, helped set up, spoke with everyone, smiled at me many times during my presentation (parts of which he has heard way too many times), cracked a few good jokes during the Q&A, helped break things down, schlepped again and then recounted all the good things that had happened or were said as I drifted off to sleep. How did I get so lucky?

I finished my presentation with a slide show set to music. Here is how I introduced it:

I’m going to end with a short slide show set to one of my favorite songs. I was paid to make some of the pictures, some are of my family, some I made on pro-bono or self-assigned projects. Some have been used in ads, promotional materials and fundraising videos. Some have found their way into books and magazines (I’d love to tell you that I have many book and album covers, but I only have one of each so far! Still working on that…). Some are in permanent installations in hospitals, schools, retirement and community centers. Many of them have been purchased by private and corporate collectors, as well as by museum curators. All of them point to the fact that photography has become – for me as I have gotten older – a kind of prayer. Whether I am shooting an engaged couple, a newborn baby, a burn victim, a Holocaust survivor, a breast cancer survivor or an orphan in Uganda, raising the viewfinder to my eye has almost become a kind of spiritual exercise.

So you see, the space between the work I do for others and the work I do for myself is kind of murky. It all sort of blends together. Rather than feel confused or frustrated by that, I think I kind of embrace it. I can’t help but believe it makes me a better photographer, or at the very least - one who is true to herself and – hopefully - true to her subjects and vision, as well.




The power point version of this worked out really well…  perfectly timed and perfectly framed. This YouTube version… well, not so much. Still, it is a quick and easy way to share. I hope you enjoy it. (Thank you, KD Lang for the amazing version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah.")


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Gloria. I really enjoyed your talk last night and I am proud to know you. LM

Louanne Hein said...

Now I am really sad I couldn't make the presentation last night. You really show such humanity in your photographs, your personality, your generosity and the world work you do. That was beautiful.
Louanne

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. Powerful, chilling and yes, a prayer. The girls are so honored to be a part of it. This is one of our most favorite songs, as well. Thank you. - Stacie

Anonymous said...

Triple treat! I'm a huge fan of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, of K.D. Lang and of Gloria Feinstein. Beautiful! Marti J.

Anonymous said...

A. Prayer. Exactly.

Suzanne said...

simple in the beauty of the moments and the humanity that is life at it's best...the music and your creativity is unmatched...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring evening!
- JC

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Moving. Inspiring. Living Grace.

Unknown said...

Some of my favorite images from a favorite photographer with a favorite singer.....beautiful Gloria! Wish we could have seen it in the gallery.

Gloria Baker Feinstein said...

Thanks to you all for the very nice comments!

Anonymous said...

The power of blending wonderful images, video, and music together… you hit a home run with this. Keep doing more of these.

Very powerful stuff.

B & P

Anonymous said...

VERY Nice! Some powerful and touching images!
Several are stuck in my mind! - MM

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a powerful tribute to life, and what a spectacular talent Gloria is. She sees right to the core, and in doing so, helps us see. - R.N.

Anonymous said...

Photography is definitely prayer!- Thatch