art is essential.

On the fall equinox last week, I created these photos with my longtime friend and spiritual mentor, Lauren Wessinger. Lauren is an incredible mom, wife, yoga teacher, mindfulness instructor, Buddhist practitioner, and spirit. She teaches virtually via an online membership for $30/month where she offers yoga, meditation, mindfulness for kids, a beginner series, and continuing education for yoga and meditation teachers. This month, she’s doing a series entitled Mindful October. I can’t wait to sit with her. Check it out HERE.

I’ve watched her teach throughout the pandemic with amazement. Sometimes I turn on a yoga class and I begin to do what she says, and then I roll around and do what I want, and around the 40 minute mark without fail, I get up to sweep the floor or wipe down a counter top. This says nothing about her teaching and everything about my attention span and obsessive behaviors. Yet, never do I regret having turned the class on and done a little bit. She tells me “Some is better than nothing.” As someone who’s long been an all or nothing kind of person, I need her perspective. 

She wanted some photographs that were more detail oriented for yoga postures. I wanted to capture the movement of the body and energy involved in yoga. I never found exactly what I was looking for online. I told her “The ideas are in my head,” and because of our history she just showed up and trusted me to create something. For my technical followers, these photos are either Cinestill 35 mm 800T film or medium format Portra 800. The double exposures were all done in camera on a tripod. My friend is 5’11”, so I stood on an apple box. I used one Profoto B10 in my studio with natural, overcast light. It was pretty dreary that morning. 

When I received the film back from Richard Photo Lab, I was pretty amazed. What came to me was: art is essential. This art will always remind me of this time: 2020, the change of seasons, how much I’d missed my friend, the chaos and the simplicity, the shadow and the light. And, for me, to create art, I must sit and feel, pause and breathe, lean in and let go. I am grateful to Lauren for holding the space for me and so many to do that. 

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