Project Joy

I’ve written before about this project that I’m working on: it’s inspired by my grandmother’s early 50’s photographs that I saw for the first time a few years ago.  I wrote about her in this post a while back: https://mpaulphotography.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/through-my-grandmothers-lens/  Thank you so much Word Press for the malfunctioning link button.  😦

Anyways.  I’ve been mulling over the project for the last few months. 

I’m very clear on what I want  to do with part of this project – I want her work to stand alone, to be viewed as her work – not mine – and be visually clear.  At the same time, I want to incorporate my own work into the project without overshadowing or confusing hers.   And believe it or not, I finally figured out how I’m going to do that.  So far, so good.  (and no, I’m not going to tell you that yet because who knows, it might change!)

At this point, I’ve hit a wall.  Slammed into it.  Face first.  

It’s the same ugly problem that always rears its head when I try to work with conceptual photography: my images need to be simple and powerful, but at the same time, what I’m trying to convey should be clear and concise.  Evocative, but understandable.

At this point, it seems that my tired brain is pumping out clichés in overdrive. 

I hate clichés.  

There’s a fine line between conveying my message (assuming that I can get my act together and pick one message as opposed to being all over the place) and banging people over the head with it.  Good conceptual photography should “be all things to all men.”  In other words, you might not understand exactly what prompted me to take this photograph, but by all that’s holy, you have an emotional response to it. 

So right now I’m coming up with ideas and promptly tossing them in the trash bin.  This image, so far, is the only one that I’m remotely happy with.  And I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say with it.  

Note: although the title sounds cutesy, my grandmother’s name was Joy (she died at the age of 27 and left two small children and a husband alone.)   

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