Dear 2020 Self: (At 13, A Letter to My Future Self)

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“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” ~ Max Ehrmann

Eli

Portrait Series Documenting the Journey of a Group of Silicon Valley Teens to Graduation in 2020 (and Beyond)

Part 1: “At 13, A Letter to My Future Self”

I have been planning for this photo series for many years and could not wait until the magic number “13”. I wanted to make portraits of my daughter and a group of her peers at the age of 13 and ask them each to write a letter to their future 18 year old self; their 2020 self.  However, the project wouldn’t end there. Each participant has agreed to meet me again in 2020 for another portrait/letter session, and perhaps again in 2025.

I began this project last summer, during their 13th year and asked that they write their letter before turning 14.  I have known most of these kids since their pre and elementary school days.  And, while 7 middle schools, 9 towns, and a countless number of sports teams, music groups and art programs now separate them, they have all remained friends or have become acquaintances.  The kids of the Silicon Valley all seem to know one another.

I’m thrilled to introduce this group of teens, each of whom I will have the privilege of documenting with photographs on their journey to 2020.  After each child’s name I’ve included one word their parents were asked to use to describe them when they entered preschool.  I look forward to watching them grow and witnessing the young adults they will become.  Godspeed!

Tyler   ::EnthusiasticTyler

Ally   ::EmpatheticAlly

Eli   ::UndauntedEli

Ava   ::GregariousAva

Kiley   ::CreativeKiley

Matthew   ::CuriousMatthew

Meagan   ::ActiveMeagan

Jackson   ::InterestedJackson

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The Mentor

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Quote of the Day:  “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

He helped me buy my first digital camera and showed me how to use it.  He encourages me and inspires me daily.  Without my mentor, I don’t know if my photography would be what it is today.  While I still have quite a way to go, I am, undoubtedly, blessed to have this wonderful person in my life to help me on this fabulous journey.
I adore this photo of Joe at his ranch hanging with friends, however, this is not the photo I intended to post today.   The intended photo was of Joe taking a photo of my daughter with a pinhole camera he made while hanging out, sipping wine one afternoon on the mountain.  My photo, taken on automatic with my brand new Nikon D70, (and, sadly, stuck on a disk in my MacBook CD…which just at this moment conveniently decided to fail….Joe, HELP!!!), was not a masterpiece.   The photo Joe took with his handmade, pinhole camera was.  With his permission, I will add a link to his professional site that posts the shot.
I learned that day, that the best equipment in the world does not a great photographer make.  It comes from something within.  It is the vision of the artist.  My vision is becoming clearer each day.  Thank you, Joey, for all that you do for me. Happy Birthday, my friend! xo!

The Inspiration

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Quote of the Day:  When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!  ~Ted Grant

My daughter was the inspiration for this blog.  She and her classmates will graduate from high school in the year 2020.  I set up a photo journal to document their journey from childhood to adult.  With my brand new Nikon D-70, I set out to capture the moments.  The journey to 202o had been rooted.

As I became more familiar with my camera, I realized it wasn’t just about snapping the photo.  It was more about capturing the moment, the emotion.  I wanted my photos to be unscripted.  It was time to really study the art.  I have been blessed to be surrounded by the most talented of photographers, who have been kind to me and patient with me through this journey.

Part two of the journey, the journey of the photographer to attempt to master the art, has been underway for many years.  I will back track a few years, in attempt take this journey from beginning to end.   This photo taken in 2005 is of the inspiration behind it all, my inspiration, my beautiful Alexandra.

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