The Story of….In Times of Desperation


I just finished my first series. I had attempted to do this previously, but I always ended up veering way off course, ending up with images that stood better on their own than together. But this time was different. I vowed not to stray from my core concept.

And I made it restrictive – I gave myself a challenge to not only stay true to the concept but also the background, color palette, subject, clothing and props. I originally was going to include different elements and a variable setting, but I decided it against it. I wanted this series to be unified. The background was bleak and the ground was a tangled mess of uncomfortable branches. The subject was alone, bathed in an environment the color of rust – something that to me signified what is old and used, on the brink of no longer being useful.

 Although I enjoy examining everything dark in our world, I also am fascinated by the interplay of lightness.  Here I chose to convey that with flowers and feather since they are often evoke feelings of calmness and serenity, lightness in both color and material.

In Times of Desperation. One concept, six images. Six ways the subject reacts to their situation, six ways that the environment interacts with the subject. 

With everything almost identical, all I changed was the subject’s pose and how they interacted with the prop.

It became difficult.

Yet, I also loved the idea of multiple pictures examining nearly the same thing. The core concept is desperation, and the series allowed me to play with different poses and ways of positioning props to convey a story of all the ways we can fall to the ground in sadness and confusion, hopelessness and despair. Of all the ways we can lean against, fall into, hold onto something for support, even in just the smallest of ways, even when we aren’t even much aware of its presence.

Sometimes life hands us such hardship that we fall to the ground in despair and barely have the energy to lift an arm to help ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even try to lift ourselves up but others have to do it for us. Sometimes we cave inward, trying almost to disappear within ourselves. Sometimes all we can do is try to find a sympathetic shoulder to lean against. Sometimes our hardship gives us wings, a powerful resiliency and strength that we never knew we had.

Sometimes our hardship gives us wings, a powerful resiliency and strength that we never knew we had.

I tried to explore each one of these ideas in the 6 images I prepared. Perhaps you don’t see the message or perhaps you see something else. We each approach a picture a different way. We each see through our own unique lens shaped by our personality and personal history.

Part of the challenge and fun of artistic expression is considering all the ways to communicate a message. It’s a goal that I will continue to work on, to create an image that speaks to someone, particularly that someone who most needs to hear it.