Sometimes the effect of something is too great not to share.

I remember my first middle school dance and looking at my reflection in the giant mirror in the girl’s locker room, standing next to the girl I had carpooled. Her name isn’t important, but it was Megan. We’d recently became close and she would often invite me to her house to revel in the pubescence of the internet so it only made sense we would ride together to our first school dance. This is also the first time I realized that I mimic gestural or auditory traits with people I am nervous around and want to impress (desperately wanting to be liked). A habit I still fall into sometimes when I feel unsure of myself. I was always fearful of disapproval, whether I was conscious of that or not, it made for often anxious or awkward behavior on my part. I have forever sought approval from my peers. Sometimes loosing ownership of myself in their presence to be like them. Maybe, I am simply, an absorber. It’s something I cannot help, even on my best days. My opinion of where I exist on this spectrum changes daily; hourly.

But I get ahead of myself because what has socked me about this memory is its tangible part: the sight of my reflection, and I get ahead of myself again because it wasn’t the sight of my reflection, first. It was the sight of hers. She looked to me as if she was drawn and outlined with a fine tip pen. She was so  defined and clear; complete. I looked at my own reflection trying to mimic how she was adjusting her hair and looking at her face, I looked blurry. I couldn’t make out the lines of my own face; my mouth, my lips, my eyes – they saw a great fog.

 

forblog

That image has stuck with me as a cardinal in the circus of my reflections.

I am now 34 years old. I took this image when I was 32 and it knocks my socks off today to be brought back in time over the sight of my, literally, blurred out face. How much do I still feel like 12 year old Ashleigh? I am happy to say hardly at all. At least not today. At least not right now. It’s been a recent Ecdysis that looks more like a lizard’s than a snake: pieces remain.

Advertisements

Curtains

I’ve come to the (possibly not-so) irrevocable decision to stop posting. This blog was created in the hopes of reigniting the way I used to feel about sharing online. I used to get something out of this which is no longer the truth. It feels forced. It feels more competitive now and I can’t lie, in competition I feel manipulated and want to start doing my own thing like a middle finger in the face.

However, I am less sad and more excited for what this means for my work. I want to look at less and experiment more. I want to make things with my hands. I want to practice with other forms of creation and catharsis. I want authenticity. I want to take more chances. I want to make a lot of bad photos to (hopefully) pay the gods for my way to the good ones.  I want to expand my space. I want to stay true to why I really love taking photographs. I want to know, despite vogue and approval, that I made good and meaningful work.

So, I am just going to exist; in my space. For awhile.

 

Below is a roll shot from our arrival and departure to/from Marfa, West Texas during a cross-country road trip. This is a sample of what I always go back to. Not this place that I can point to on a map. This mode; this camera, this film. This freedom. This is my bread and butter. This is what makes me happy.001

002

003

004

005

007

008

009

010

011

012

014

015

016

017

019

020

021

023

025

027

028

029

030

031

032

033