A Survey

In Art Projects, contemplation, Inspiration
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I had a dream the other night – one of those where I woke up midway through and forced myself to go back to sleep to continue it. It wasn’t a particularly good or happy dream. It was actually kind of stressful. In it, I was under a tight deadline to produce a well-curated, beautifully designed presentation of the very best of my photography work. A portfolio presentation.

I’m usually someone who doesn’t have a lot of trouble making a decision, and once I’ve made my mind up, I tend to follow through fairly quickly and thoroughly. This dreamed photo summary, though, was pushing me. How was I supposed to sum up all of who I am as a photographer, as a creator, as an artist in a single presentation? Dream me was stuck with a high stakes deadline.

All day, though, I’ve been mulling this over. Is it my paid photography work that can best speak to who I am and what I create? Is it what I shot ten years ago or yesterday? Is it landscapes or florals, weddings, families, my own children?

So I started scrolling through my flickr feed – photos from the last nearly twenty years of my life. You know what showed up? Sure, there are weddings and families and moments, there are sunsets and flare and florals. There are self-portraits and I can watch my kids grow. The landscapes that have shaped me are in there and the places that have inspired me as well. All of these things are there, but you know what I figured out?

I scrolled past all of this and noticed that I smiling and chuckling to myself the entire time. It’s joy. That’s what sums it all up for me. Laughing faces, skies full of life, grasses dancing in the morning dew. Proof of living and proof of life, proof of joy.

All the best,


  1. and I feel it from your photos all the time. Truly.

  2. “Proof of joy” — I love that so much, Alison. I miss Flickr – I haven’t posted there in years, but I love that you do and can scroll back through your images to make this sort of discovery. Beautiful post (and photos).

    • Flickr is definitely more of a storage zone for me now than anything else, but those days of the flickr community – so good 🙂 And thank you so much for your kind words

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