Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Through Her Lens

by Kelly

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched but are felt in the heart. Helen Keller

Standing on the shoulders of giants.

That’s what comes to mind when I think about my photography…when I think about what it means to be a female photographer. Great works by the likes of Dorothea Lange, Vivian Maier, and Sally Mann, immediately come to mind. I love the way they capture everyday moments, but even more than that, I am particularly inspired by their gritty, almost raw, portraits.  How they seem to capture not only a moment in time, but also the full spectrum of human emotion in their subjects.

I thought the subject of women photographers was fitting since March is designated as National Women’s History Month – the purpose of which is to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of women. The three women I mentioned (along with many, many others) paved the way for all of us who dare look through the lens and press the shutter. All of us who have experienced great healing from putting ourselves in the presence of beauty and wonder. All of us who use photography as a tool to challenge ourselves to see the world differently and then go out share that with others.

The truth is, I wholeheartedly believe that women have a unique perspective when it comes to photography. And I think one of the reasons is because of our roles as mothers and/or care-givers...the way we nurture and tend to needs of our families and loved ones. It is a fact that women are hard-wired for bonding – connection to others is encoded in our DNA.  So it is no surprise to me that this shows up in our photography.

I recently had the opportunity to visit with Zach Jenkins, the Community & Content Manager at Flickr. This month Flickr is celebrating women in photography with the #ThroughHerLens campaign, and he urged me to invite all of you to share your work and your stories with the Flickr community.  I can’t think of a more fitting way to honor the legacy of the incredible women whose gifts and talents have made such a valuable contribution to world of photography.

Finally, I can’t speak about women and photography without thinking of you.  Community, connection, and inspiration has always been at the heart of what we do at Focusing on Life.  Our hope is to create a place where we can all learn and grow and nurture our passion for photography.  And I feel so proud and honored to share this space with all of you.

Until next time,



heyjudephotography said...

I agree Kelly, that women's "DNA" helps us to connect more strongly with our subjects. And I wholeheartedly agree that the community and connection in this space keeps us inspired. A lovely message today.

Unknown said...

Right on, Kelly. I so agree with everything you've written here, especially the part about community, connection and inspiration...and you've always been a wonderful inspiration to so many.

Anonymous said...

beautiful images to accompany beautiful and heartfelt and true words...

Dotti said...

Here I am - a day late and a dollar short. But I love this tie in of Women's History month to accomplished female photographers. I learned two things during Picture classes: community is everything and yes! women do photograph differently than men. I'm in awe of David duChemin's work but I'm moved by Vivian Maier's work. A different connection elicits a different response.

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