2012 has been a big and wonderful year for me. I will try to organize this by month to make it more cohesive! I am just so thankful that I have flickr as a resource, it has really helped me document my life and I would have so much trouble recollecting my memories without photographs.
In January of 2012 I started my spring semester at school and took my very last general education class. That semester was the first time I shot in the studio at school, I learned all about artificial lighting (which both baffled me and intrigued me). I had just shot a spread for Racing Minds with my lovely friend Laura and finally got the chance to release it. I was feeling positive and my hair was extra short.
I started to photograph and share my home series! I lugged around this giant framed plexi class in my car for a few months and froze my ass off in the cold water for the above image. I can’t believe I took that image in February, what was I thinking.
I also had my second shoot in the studio for my color class. Ryan drove two hours to Jacksonville just to help me shoot it when I had a scheduling conflict with a model. If he hadn’t shown up I would have been totally lost.
And I met emily for the first time in February! I can’t believe I’ve barely known her for a year, it feels like a lifetime. She is one of my favorite best friends that flickr has brought me, she is truly an inspiration and had added so much happiness to my life. We have both really grown since we first met, I remember our conversations about love, relationships, art and inspiration. At the time photography was just a hobby for her and now it is her whole entire life. I met her on the cusp of her big transition into photography as a full time commitment and I couldn’t be more proud that she has turned to the art side ;)
In March Ryan and I moved into our very first place together!! We still live there now, it’s a lovely two bedroom where we live with another couple, two of our best friends Caitlin and Dwight. The apartment complex would later be the perfect location for many of my 365 images because of its acres of abandoned golf courses.
I shot with a Holga for the first time for my intermediate class and took a wonderful trip to Louisiana with Ryan for a family gathering.
I also worked on a Giants series that I still haven’t shared in full. It is something I would love to revisit, I just can’t stand black and white 35mm sometimes.
I also completed that ridiculous series where I photographed raw meat and flowers that stirred up some weird debates on tumblr. People took it way more seriously than I did.
In May I was inspired by Emily to invest in a 4x5 camera and these were my first 4x5 images. I also saw Emily again, for the second time, and we visited some of my favorite places I have ever been. She showed me all around Jekyll Island and we walked around St. Simon’s Island as well, taking an endless amount of images. South east Georgia will forever hold a place in my heart, especially because of the tenderness and love that Emily has when sharing it with me.
On June 5th I was sitting in my summer class going through my flickr and was struck by the sudden yearning to start my second 365. It was an impulse decision that I barely thought twice about and it seriously changed my life in the best way possible. It got me shooting again, and loving it. I started to explore, think about art more seriously and involve others in my art. It brought Ryan and I closer together because he would always come to my rescue when a photo went to hell. Starting my second 365 is one of the greatest highlights of this year because it revived my love for the art of photography.
In June I also had work featured on a book cover and in Neon Magazine
August brought on more poison ivy and the beginning of my fall semester. I saw Emily for the last time this year, we tried to plan a meet up but we were the only ones who showed up :P But we made the best of it and had a weekend destined for the history books.
September was pretty huge for me because in the middle of the month the October issue of Popular photography came out and I had a feature in it. It is something I am so so proud of and really brought to my attention how wonderful the power of the internet is. Because of hundreds of people I have never met that follow and share my work, I was discovered and featured in one of the most well known photo magazines in America. I seriously couldn’t have done it, or anything for that matter, without the internet. It brought photography into my life and has made it everything to me.
In October I was contacted by flickr for an interview for the flickr blog. This is probably one of the best interviews I have given to date and gives really great insight on who I am as an artist. Writing the interview lead me to many great realizations about what I want out of my artwork.
In late October and early November I opened an actions shop, got back into shooting instant film on my Mamiya and had an image featured in a gallery in downtown Jacksonville. That photo was later purchased by one of my professors :)
My semester ended on a really high note with straight A’s and being granted a scholarship for the study abroad program I hope to attend in the summer.
This whole semester was a growing period for me for many reasons. My personal documents class exposed me to a whole new type of photography that I had never touched before, landscape work. Not only did it get me shooting in ways I was afraid of, but it got me exploring a location that I had only known in passing. I also took a class that exposed me to the art in all of the major museums in Jacksonville. I learned about what it’s like to have a career in a museum and was pulled even more into the idea that I know I want to work in big, art involved communities. I feel like my knowledge of art, art history and the art world has doubled this year and it is an incredible feeling. I feel comfortable in museums now, at home.
I also really got into my printmaking class, a medium that I knew nothing about before this semester. Now I feel like printmaking could become a significant part of my photography one day.
So here we are. This month I had an interview featured on a website that inspires me daily, Phlearn. I visited family in Louisiana with Ryan and purchased a new old macbook from Emily to make my editing process more efficient and less frustrating.
I got my very first speedlite for christmas, as well as books about Maggie Taylor and Annie Leibovitz.
I traveled to Louisiana with Ryan for a little christmas vacation with my family.
I also met with Molly and Alexis for picture adventures!
This month has consisted of a lot of traveling, working retail and shooting late in the night. But I am finishing up the year with mounds of inspiration and motivation. The urge to write, to plan and to grow. I have ideas and I am going into 2013 with more dedication than I have ever had before. I just want to do right by younger Lexi, who loved photography more than anything in the world. This is who I am and I am going to be the best I can be.
Books I have read (that I can recall):
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Hunger Games Trilogy
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
The Fault in our Stars (twice)
The Magician’s Nephew
The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time
So as the night and the year come to a close I would like to finish with this, the older I get the more proud I am of the person I am becoming. Even though at times I struggle, I feel more myself today than I have felt in years. This is what it’s like to come into your own, to be who you are striving to be. I think that is the most important thing that we can do for ourselves, is give a damn. Love ourselves, believe in ourselves, find out what we want, what we need. Do what makes us happy. Give ourselves what we know we deserve.
You are the only person you can really count on, the only one who is around when you are alone, so you should be good to yourself, take care of yourself, be proud of who you are. Because you are all you’ve got during a time of pain, loneliness or struggle. Other people may go, stray away, grow apart or mislead you. And if you are left alone you will eventually have to face the person in the mirror that you so detest. You can’t run away from yourself forever, you just can’t. The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Before you can love anyone else all the way, you have to love yourself first. So be kind, give yourself a break every once in a while, spend quality time alone, be good to you. You deserve it, I know you do.
I love you all very much, thank you for following my work and my blog and my life and making every single picture worth posting. If I didn’t have this amazing community of creators and thinkers in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Happy new year :)