Anyone who knows me knows how difficult it is for me to fail. Anyone who kind of knows me knows how difficult it is for me to admit (let alone accept) defeat.
I admit it. I failed.
The photography challenge for week 4 doesn’t look too promising, considering I have one day to complete it and I have no prospects. The challenge called for a head shot of someone other than myself, well, I spent the vast majority of this week with my skin being the only thing keeping me together, which isn’t saying much since I was damn near jumping out of my skin every few moments.
I have orders to see a psychologist again. Again. I really thought that this was over with.
The part that kills me is that I had such a productive week last week. I shot photos that I am insanely proud of and I wrote a piece that I am also insanely proud of… and then I failed myself.
I spent some time with Photoshop last weekend, of course, still thinking I would be able to get this week’s challenge completed with no troubles, that was also before the panic and anxiety set in. Damn, I really thought I was done with it. Two years with very little panic, let alone panic that wasn’t triggered by something specific… I’m not happy about this.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I changed the name of the blog. This just happens to be the first post on the sparkly new page. Immortal Reveries … and then I fail to immortalize an idea. What a way to start off a new beginning, huh? I’m indescribably disappointed in myself right now. The idea was to challenge myself every week, to complete the challenges from this list I stole from some website, and I am enrolled in Adobe certification programs, and in a photography diploma program (I’ve been a photographer for over 15 years, and NOW I decide to get the damned diploma). I made GOALS dammit. I set fucking goals. Week 4 and I already let panic dictate the outcome. It’s shameful.
Boo hoo, right? I can let it bring me down (haha I already did that), or I can say “fuck it” and show you what I did do this week.
My grandfather has been in the printing industry for, well, basically his entire life. I don’t know how the story goes in detail, but once upon a time in a printing company long since defunct and shut down, he acquired some glass plate negatives. From what I have heard, they were being thrown away, and there were MANY that had already been thrown in the dumpster, so he pulled his van up and loaded up with as many as he could get his inky hands on.
Let’s be honest here, I am the printing grunt in the family. He was an estimator. The most ink his hands saw at this point in his life was out of a Bic. He still loves printing, though, and that makes for some awesome quality time with him.
Anyway, he came to own these plates. One of these plates is “inscribbled” (yes, I said inscribbled because I like to use made up words) with the words “RETURN TO HORACE CARR”. Yes, Horace Carr. As in, Horace Carr, the most renowned printer in all of Cleveland way back in the days when letters were set by hand and not on a keyboard.
Pretty cool, huh? It’s pretty fucking amazing to be holding a piece of history like this in your hands. I know NOTHING of Horace Carr except that back in the day, you wanted him to be your typesetter. I need better research.
I ended up sitting in Boyfriend’s dining room with the old laptop in front of me, while I was supposed to be doing other things, and I happened to open up the folder on the hard drive where I store these bad boys, which I shot through a light box with my camera (all 200+ negatives). Fascinating things, these plates, with their peeling and bubbling emulsion, and the story behind some of these portraits, I can only ever guess at. Boyfriend was plucking away at the guitar in the other room, playing Mario Kart with his brother, and I got to thinking about the stories… the stories that these plates could tell, the stories that only Boyfriend and I will remember 50 years from now, and, of course, I was thinking about my “assignment” to shoot some headshots.
Call it inspiration via some old man I never knew and is probably long since dead, I decided to see what I could do with some of Horace Carr’s images.
They say that a photo is worth a thousand words, but for me, this photo is so much more than that. The photo of the man up top and this woman right above, I look at these photos and something inside me starts to wake up. Will someone find my photos in a few decades and wonder who I was? I want to know more about these people. I want to meet these people in these photos.
Will there be someone like me in 100 years who thinks these things about me, just based on the images I leave behind?
I started thinking about waking up ghosts.
I woke up a few of my own, so it would appear.
UNTIL I WAKE YOUR GHOST. (c) 2016 *REVERIE* Melissa S Jeffrey
So I failed the headshot challenge. Maybe. I still have a day to accomplish something. If I do, I will be sure to post it here on my new sparkly website. I made art this week though, I created something new that didn’t exist before. That’s not a complete failure.
Now, I have a few photos I am going to shoot re: this fucking anxiety episode I just experienced. I will be damned if I allow this brain of mine to ruin my life.
Until next time, friends and fiends, make love and images!