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.")