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In Dreams

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In Dreams

For as long as I can remember, I've been one of those people who remembers their dreams. Bizarre, mundane, hilarious, horrifying: I wake up with the sense of them, but usually remember them most vividly as I lay down to go to bed the next night. The last few months have been a particularly introspective time for me, and I've found myself thinking a lot about the interconnectedness of dreaming and photography. It's not the most obvious connection - I think most people view photography as a representation of reality - but this moment's reality doesn't last, and in my mind, there's no difference between trying to recall the exact details of a dream and trying to conjure a perfect likeness of my child's face even just a few months ago... the details fade and shift and are replaced by new details. As I see it, therefore, the most important function my work serves is preserving those fragile memories of the people and events in our lives - be they big (weddings and births) or small (a family's morning at the park) - much like the snapshot recollections we often have of dreams.  Unlike those mental snapshots, though, a photograph can be touched and preserved and revisited and shared.

But if photography were just about the preservation of reality, there would be little difference between a good photograph and a mediocre one. What I've come to understand is that the art of photography lies in the choice of which element(s) of reality to portray - beauty, pain, simplicity, complexity, connection, isolation, etc., etc.: how an artist sees the world can and does dictate the nature of the images she creates. The portraits I love most isolate a single one of those elements in such a way that it not only portrays that emotion, but draws it out of me when I look at it. There is a connection, across miles or time or both, and the photograph sinks in and colors my mood. Just like a dream.


For those who are curious about this kind of thing, all of the above are of my boys, shot this summer on my new-to-me Hasselblad.

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Five

Chapel-Hill-Portrait-Photographer-Slideshow
Chapel-Hill-Portrait-Photographer-Slideshow

The first time around, becoming a mother felt something like learning to swim: thrilling one minute and near-drowning the next. I was simultaneously amazed at the new world that had opened up before me and terrified by the unknown expanse ahead, but day by day my little fish and I paddled along, navigating new waters together, finding our way as we went.

Five years ago today, what I experienced in the split second after becoming a mother for the second time was completely different... an instantaneous, effortless dive into the depths of love itself, the intensity of the connection as crushing as the ocean. From the moment I laid eyes on Judah, he was a part of me, like I had known him for ever and ever; like he had birthed me instead of the other way around.

Looking through these photographs blows my mind: the transformation from the angelic, cuddly baby he was into the fiercely independent, costume-obsessed, silly, wild, hilarious drama queen he is today has happened impossibly fast...

...and yet somehow I can't remember what life was like without him.

Happy, happy birthday, Judah... it's certainly a happy, happy day for me.

love,

mommy

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Italy, Part 3 | Positano & Rome

Of everywhere we went in Italy, Positano was my least favorite. Don't get me wrong: just because it was my least favorite doesn't mean I didn't think it was amazing... it's remarkable in the way it's built, and absolutely, jaw-droppingly beautiful, but at the end of the day, it felt to me like any other tourist town, with the requisite overpriced restaurants and shops, and a culture that's more vacation than Italian.  Then again, who can argue with allocating a couple of days to soaking in (and photographing) views like this?Positano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation Recommendations (Thank you to Erin for reminding me to get on the other side of the camera a few times on our trip!)

Next stop: Rome. Rome was the first city I ever really got to know, and it was probably the largest single factor influencing my decision to move to NYC after college. Living there for a month when I was 19 gave me a taste for the incredible richness of big city living: the beautiful architecture, the incredible food, the never-ending list of things to do and see, and the wide, colorful range of people... it appealed to every fiber of my young adult self. So it was with some trepidation that I returned, 16 years later, wondering how it could possibly live up to its pedastaled place in my mind.

But it did.

I no longer feel the desire to live full-time in a big city, but I understand now - perhaps better than ever - how this particular city won my heart, and in many ways changed the course of my life that summer.Rome Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsRome Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation Recommendations

 

Positano Vacation Recommendations

So that's it... it was a pretty incredible two weeks. If you haven't seen them yet, check out parts 1 and 2 from Venice and Tuscany... I know I'll be visiting all three of these posts myself when I need a quick mental vacation from my desk!

xox,

annemie

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