What does an outdoor, landscape photographer do when organizers cancel photo trips and governments issue stay-at-home orders during a global pandemic?
I decided, “why not revisit my catalog of images.” Hundreds of images from past trips reside in my catalogs and have not been exposed to the touches of digital processing. I figured there must be a few forgotten gems waiting for discovery.
Before I could begin thumbing through the innocent, untouched files, many of my seasoned portfolio images started calling out to me. Their calling touched my heart and it listened.
You see, my heart hurt as I attempted to coop with the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic. But, my heart stilled while listening to the whispers from nature captured within these images. Nature captured within my photographs spoke to me, offering comfort and solace, as long as I listened with my heart.
Each day, my morning began with our conversation. I opened my heart to listen while my eyes joined nature contained in an image. My hands wrote down the words whispered through my heart. The words came forth as poetry, a new creative outlet.
chaos all around
seek the light
feel the energy
with the sun
Each morning, I posted my images along with its associated poem to social media with limited tagging. Most of the images had been previously posted so they were not new to my followers but the poems were new. They were born and released to the world each morning. Fresh. Raw.
Days into my daily practice (listening, writing, and social media posting), several friends and viewers started commenting about the comfort they, too, received from the joint posting. Then weeks later, I realized I could create a book that combined the image and the poems on accompanying pages (a spread). Again, several people shared the same idea with me.
After 73 days, I decided to pause the morning dialog practice and focus on a book. Creating a book and publishing it – what was I getting into? But I knew it was the right the step to take. So, I began consuming everything on the Internet about self-publishing a book. I watched YouTube videos, I read blogs, I downloaded templates, purchased desktop publishing software, and even took a weekend workshop on poetry.
Since June 1st, I digitally assembled my photo-poetry book, edited and re-edited the poems, adjusted and re-adjusted page layouts, created several book cover designs, sought out printing estimates from 3 book printers, and built book mock-ups. Book design, another new creative outlet learned.
There is still more to be done. I’m seeking copyright permissions to use a few quotes as section dividers, courting someone to add kind words as the book’s Foreword, and working with some people on sponsorship to defray the printing costs and boosting the print run size.
Watch my Instagram account for the announcement to pre-order.