We Are Artists, We Live Out Loud

Bakery Still LIfe

When you look out your window, do you see the same old tree you’ve seen every day?  When you look up at the sky at night, does it give you pause?  When you see a beggar on the street, do you go out of your way to avoid him or her?  Do you see the child with his ice cream all over his face and think, why doesn’t his mother wipe that mess up?  What do you see, what do you remember from that moment?  Do you even remember that moment?

As photographers, as artists, we look at the world around us and see the beauty, the wonder. We don’t just see the trees – we see the beautiful vista of shades of green that stand proudly and majestically around us.  We hear the soft rustle of the leaves as a gentle wind blows and watch the red-breasted robin feed her young in the nest she painstakingly built to shelter her family.  When we look up at the night sky, we see a trillion bright shining stars and a moon so full, it sets the night all aglow.  And, as in the words of the great Louie Armstrong, we think to ourselves, what a wonderful world.

However, we also recognize that though our world is beautiful, it’s also filled with pain and sorrow, at times, a sadness so profound, you can feel it seep into your soul.  Walking through Central Park in New York City and seeing the homeless asleep on a bench, or driving through Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and seeing the homeless taking shelter under a bridge with all of their worldly possession in a bag at their feet.  The child crying for his father or mother, taken from him or her too soon.  The parents crying for their child taken from them needlessly, from drugs, or sickness and from war; or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.   We see the scared, the lonely, the hungry, the poor, and the brutal. 

Regardless of what we see, it evokes emotion on some level.  And it should make you feel.  For us, the emotion is so raw and real, we want, no… we need to capture it.  We want to capture that feeling, the emotion, and share it in the hopes we make you see it, to make you feel it.  Maybe it’s controversial and evokes anger or sadness.  It might open up a discussion that gives you a glimpse of another point of view.  Maybe it’s a sunset or sailboat that transports you to another place, another time.  Maybe it’s the pure joy on the face of a child that you capture as he eats his ice cream cone and more of it is on his face than is in his belly. How great is it when you capture that moment in time of a child’s laughter?  Whenever you look at it, you can nearly hear the belly laugh. 

As photographers, as artists, we strive to capture those moments and memorialize them forever.  A moment in time that takes you on a journey.  A memory for ourselves, for you, for our future… We are artists, and we live out loud.

By:  Kristina Slattery