If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ve probably seen me mention Ansel Adams as an influence in my photography and my love of black and white. While Ansel Adams is a significant influence, others inspire me to be better. A better person and a better photographer.
I care deeply about our environment. I try to reduce, reuse, recycle and am working on lessening my dependence on plastic. I look back to John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt. They had the foresight to realize what a precious resource our beautiful country is and started reserving land. The land I love to explore and photograph — our National Parks. When I visit these fantastic places, I thank these men and others for thinking about future generations enjoyment. I try to do these places justice in my photos, but there is nothing, NOTHING, like seeing them in person.
Sometimes I feel stuck in my creativity. It might be not feeling like going out to shoot, editing, writing, or painting. When that happens, I have a couple of photographers I follow who explore creativity, Chris Orwig and David duChemin. They aren’t JUST photographers to me. They talk about creating and making something. They remind me I know the rules and the rules are meant to be broken. To explore. To find me through art. Often we want to find “our style” or please our peers. These two make it ok to do what I love. People may not get or like it, but eventually, I’ll find the audience who does. And that’s what matters.
Martha Graham is a badass of dance. She made it ok not to be a ballerina. Don’t get me wrong, I loved ballet, but I was a modern dancer at heart. I was drawn to the freedom of expression and the permission to be opposite of ballet. Another badass of dance is Misty Copeland. These women show me it’s ok to be different and chase your dreams. I may not have been cut out to be a professional dancer (despite years of training and dreaming) but I can (and am) a professional photographer. Maybe one day I can inspire someone with my badass-ness LOL.
Lastly, I’m inspired by so many writers. I love writing. I hope to write a book or two someday. I look to authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz and marvel at the stories their brains create. I’m in awe. I like the research and work that Erik Larson puts into his books. Of course, Anne Rule is the OG true crime author. I love strong female writers that can bring female stories to life, Jodi Picoult, Jane Green, and Jennifer Weiner, to name a few. Many might consider them “chick lit” but the weave together good stories with strong women as the lead characters. We need more strong female leads.