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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

you build it up, you wreck it down: photographs by polly chandler

And I Hang In The Curtain And I Sleep In Your Hat

I was attracted to Polly Chandler's work as soon as I saw it in Fraction Magazine's most recent issue. I was kind of turned off by the titles, but once I "got" that they are lines from various Tom Waits songs, I felt okay about them. I'm a big Tom Waits fan. AndI think these photographs are pretty gorgeous. So I was a happy viewer and thought I'd share.

Polly Chandler grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated with an MFA in photography from Southern Illinois University. She has exhibited her work nationally, and her photographs have been published in magazines such as Photo District News, American Photo and B&W Magazine. Polly now lives in Austin, Texas and continues to make photographs as well as strives to challenge herself in her work. About her body of work, she says 'There are those occurrences that sit with us and settle into who we are. Some are more forceful than others. I am seeking to explore those identifiable instances that seem to slow time, and through my photographs, share the understanding of these moments.'

'My latest project is a series of narratives based on my personal interpretations of the music and lyrics by the singer-song writer, Tom Waits. Over the past few years I have endeavored on a project that filters and renders my experiences, emotions and quest for purpose, through my understanding of his music. It is often simply a single line from a song that will spark an idea.

All of the images included in this project were taken with a Large Format Toyo CX45 View camera using Polaroid Type 55 film (which is now discontinued, although I stocked up on the film when the rumors first started that it was going to disappear). I will often location scout using a point and shoot camera, then make sketches later until an idea fully forms, and eventually make the photograph. I process my film in the chemistry on location, photographing until I get the shot that is just right.

My photographs represent, among other things, my experience and interpretation of a particular place and moment in time (ultimately representing myself). All of my images are done through the camera. There is no digital manipulation aside from some levels adjusting.

For me, part of challenging myself as a photographer is to create the image I'm looking for while in the field, creating in the camera and exposing on the negative.

I also print full frame (meaning I do not crop the edges of the negative) to show that I pay close attention to every detail within my frame; including the very edges. Photographing this way does slow everything down and the subject has to pay close attention to the process of making the photograph along with me, so it's a very collaborative process, which I like.'

 -  Polly Chandler (from Fraction Magazine, Issue #52)

And If I Have To Go, Will You Remember Me

And The Sea Turns Into A Mirror

Will You Lose The Flowers, Hold Onto The Vase

You Dreamed Me Up And Left Me Here

Take Back These Wings

Along An Icy Pond

Saturday, June 29, 2013

more breast cancer survivors

I'm always inspired by this project. Thank you, all 12 "calendar girls", for making my week an enlightening one.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

breast cancer survivors

I've spent the last two days photographing breast cancer survivors for Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Kansas. Each year, twelve survivors are chosen to take part in this project. Their portraits and writings are assembled into both a calendar and an exhibition. I've been part of this endeavor for many years now.

Each year there is a different "theme" which ties the pictures and text together. This time around, I asked the subjects to consider what words of wisdom, after having gone through the experience of their breast cancer, they might share with their younger selves.

I photographed each woman holding a photograph of that younger self.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Grandchildren Henry and Clara have been visiting for a week. It's been wonderful.

I take lots of photographs of children. Photographing my own grandkids is a dream come true! The challenge for me is making pictures that satisfy my needs both as a grandmother and as artist. Here's what I came up with these past few days. I've been having a ton of fun, on many different levels!

coming soon to portland

This summer while in Portland I plan to continue working on my street series, but I'd also like to book a handful of commissioned portrait shoots. If you live in Portland and would like a portrait session with me - or you know of someone who might - please contact me at gbfeinstein[at] aol dot com. I'd like to do some on-location sittings of newborns, children and families. I'd also love to photograph births.

My sitting fee is $200. I'll meet you wherever you choose, spend as much time as I need to make sure I've gotten a good body of work, will edit the pictures and burn medium resolution selects onto a DVD. (You can then go on to use the files however you see fit.) If you would like prints made by me, we can work this out for an additional charge.

I'll be in Portland from July 5 through August 12. I will be based in the Pearl district, but would be willing to travel anywhere within the city limits to meet you at a good location for the shoot.

I recently made these portraits of a young Portlander named Arlo. His mom brought him to a park, and we all had a good time hanging out together. I photograph children in an unobtrusive, easy going way. I'd like to think the resulting portraits show more than just the gut-busting laugh or the cheesy Kodak smile. I have found that parents like having photographs of the different sides of their kid's personality, especially those that focus on more subtle, quiet expressions. (These pictures are usually the ones that are the most appreciated as the years go by.)

Please drop me a note if you're interested in scheduling a session, or pass this along to someone you think might be. I promise we'll have a good time and get good results!