i came back to photography out of desperation. our family was struggling financially and i was just...struggling. i needed something for myself, but i couldn't stand the thought of going back to nannying, retail, food services. i had never once chosen to go forth with something for the sheer fact that i enjoyed it. i was sick of hearing myself whisper to people with DLSRs how much i wish i could have one too. how much i longed to be documenting with more than my point and shoot. i could never convey why it made a difference, and i suppose it doesn't. maybe it just did, for me, then. my time spent with this craft has taught me a lot. when i first got my camera i thought i had to know all the actions and have the cutest blog and find the best font to type my name across an image that no one in their right mind would give a shit about having or stealing or publishing. i realized, i guess, at some point, that i was surrounding myself with all the wrong stuff, the wrong people, the wrong expectations of how to live life with this craft. i don't want to have the most evenly lit portraits, i love shadows. i love depth. i love story. i love the raw, real light of any given moment. one of my favorite photogs, Catherine Abegg, recently wrote a post about the why. WHY do we shoot and what do we get out of it? it hasn't left me and i've been letting it simmer ever since. i think i do it because i want to see parts of my children that i feel my parents never saw in me. i want to see the deepest beauty and hopes and dreams that they have in their little bodies. i want to see them stripped down and bare so i can know the best way to love them, to support them, to foster the passions they have within them. i want to connect in a deep, intimate way that i feel i never got to when i was their age. i am fascinated with childhood and family and so it allows me a closeness to it all. and that translates to when i'm shooting for work. i want to see a you that you do not allow yourself to see. that you are afraid to see, to embrace. a beauty and comfort inside of you. i want you to know you have it. when i'm shooting Sheryl and food, i want it to scream that she loves what she is doing, her delicate and patient detail to the placement of each tomato or piece of parsley or dollop of cream. i want to convey her passion for food, the beauty of it and the science.

one photographer i have fallen head over heels for, Deb Schwedhelm, recently posted a video clip of an interview with my absolute favorite photographer, Sally Mann. i have so many concepts i want to explore. i love how she explains why she went after death. see. to see what happens. i have often fantasized about photographing crime scenes. isn't that weird?! i wish more than anything i could tag along with police regularly. and i'm not talking about the Wellesley police. i don't know what i hope to see, or do, or shoot. i just...want to go. i just want to see. i just want to take my camera and go and see what i learn about people and life and death. probably watched too many crime dramas at a young age. har har.

i recently took this image while visiting one of my best friends down on the cape. where she lives. she is my water friend. i have no other friend that is as deeply connected to the water as my friend Erica. her kids are like tadpoles. and know nothing but splashing and flopping in water. they can swim better and are braver in the water than i am. than i may ever be. she is one with the water and her kids are a reflection of the peace, tranquility and safety she feels in it. i have been photographing her and her kids ever since i've known them, almost 4 years. and never have i taken a photo of Erica that i feel is so purely her. for a moment she let her guard down and i saw her. i love this image. all i ever want to see on the other side of the lens is you. who you are, not who you think you should be, wearing what you think you should be wearing, posing how you think you should be posing. just you.

aren't i so super deep and reflective?! isabel