The Importance of Saying No.

In Community, Film, Fine Art Photography, Inspiration, Street
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At the end of 2022, I made a choice to begin saying “no” to things so that I could say “yes” to more photography related opportunities in 2023. It felt really awkward at first. I felt guilty. I hate feeling as though I’ve let someone down. On a deeper level though, I knew I needed to prioritize some of my own dreams.

My first “yes” of 2023 was to join a creative group of individuals led by Amy Elizabeth over at The Art Lab. We explore a new prompt each month and interpret it as we choose. In the past year, I’ve learned about cyanotypes, anthotypes, splizers, multiple exposures, EBS, self portraits, Polaroid transfers, souping film, watercolor painting on Polaroids, photo collage, and gelli plate printing transfers. We’ve been inspired by a multitude of artists and each other. Along with my fellow photographer friends at Viewfinders, I’ve felt supported, encouraged, uplifted, and emboldened. I’ve created work I never thought I’d attempt. My curiosity was set ablaze in 2023 and I’m ever so grateful!

In November of this year, I submitted my EBS photography series, Liminal Spaces, to Indy Arts Council’s local community gallery show known as, TINY XII: A Really Big Show. Hosted by Gallery 924 at Indy Arts Council, this year’s show host over 100 local artists and over 500 pieces of original artwork, sized 6x6x6 inches or smaller. This year the show had record breaking sales and attendance; I felt so honored to be part of it!

Opening night felt so energized and exciting! The gallery space was packed and the room was filled with so much laughter and conversation! Indy Arts Council created an amazing recap reel that you can watch here.

To see my images hanging in this space among so many talented artists was truly an honor. Liminal Spaces is a 35mm Lomography film series I created with my Pentax k1000 that explores the idea of transitions in life using an experimental film technique (EBS) and street photography in different cities. This particular series was created in Chicago, Illinois.

These past few weeks I’ve thought a lot about the importance of saying “no” so that you can say “yes” to the dreams and ideas that you carry within you. I’ve thought a lot about the vulnerability and courage that is felt when we take a step forward. I’ve thought about the importance of showing up and trying, even when we’re nervous. I’ve thought a lot about the friends who have supported and encouraged me along the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I hope you say “yes” to what you hold most dear to your heart in 2024!

~ Laura


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