i recently met ted preuss and had many wonderful conversations with him over the course of a week in joshua tree national park. at one point we got to talking about the idea of doing a very, “sally mann” styled shoot near my cabin that might involve 2 or 3 models set against the wonderfully rich wood textures of exterior walls of my cabin. i managed to make the shot with stephanie anne, dominique, and mia and it turned out different and somehow better than i’d expected. i didn’t quite get the sally mann feel i wanted, but the different skin tones added a depth and dimension that really took on a meaning of harmony for me.
in my discussion with ted about sally mann, he recommended a documentary called, What Remains that chronicles a lot of sally’s work including the seminal collection, Immediate Family. the film is a wonderful look into the process and thoughts of a photographic artist unlike any i’ve seen. i am a huge admirer of sally’s work and it is fascinating to see video footage of her working with her children to create some of the pieces from Immediate Family and the journey she goes through to find the next steps in her evolution as an artist. what to do next, how to maintain relevance, and struggling with what will keep the public’s interest now that her children are not the centerpiece of her headline-grabbing early works is all shown here in vivid detail.
in many similar (and much smaller) ways, i struggle with the same things as i move through my own work. i feel like i need time to pause, look back on what i’ve done, and evaluate what i have. create collections of work that speak to an arcing artistic vision and find ways to present this to the public. the film will have a lasting impact on my work going forward and provides inspiration for the future.