Two years ago, when we were part of a beautiful project called The Hours, my photographer friend Vanessa Simpson had an idea. She would photograph a little shrub in her yard in every changing moment throughout the year, a reminder of how things look different depending on when and how you look at them.
I always knew this was a genius idea. Our perception of life changes so rapidly and so does the world around us, that little tree looked different every time she shot it. She also looked at it in a different way; a different point of view, a different mood, a different camera… I bet she could have taken a photo of her tree every single day of the year and there would be 365 different images.
Whenever I want to finish a roll of film I go to the potato tree in my backyard. I use up the last photo in that roll to snap a pic of my favorite tree so I can quickly send my film in to be developed. Every time I wait for my scans to arrive, I’m always curious to see what my potato tree looks like. I never write things down, so I forget how the light shone that day or what flower I decided to focus on, or even how long I stood there focusing on my tree.
It really doesn’t matter because they will all look different. No matter how many times I take photos of that tree it is always a different tree to me.
Which leads me to my point: I believe we are like my potato trees, or Vanessa’s shrub. We are constantly growing, changing, finding our light, adjusting our mood. We are so many different things and others view us in so many different ways! It seems impossible to capture, let alone understand, the essence of who we really are in one single moment in time. So here’s my potato tree today for you; a reflection of my constant moods, growth and change.