This post marks the start of a new series! Since I switched over to this website I have been trying to figure out a way to organize my blog, specifically thinking about themes for regular posts. If you are an Instagram user (or really any other form of social media), you likely have seen the hashtag for flashback Fridays, which is the theme for these posts. As the title implies, I will be pulling images from the archives that I haven't posted anywhere before, and occasionally some that have been posted quite a while ago (usually from past 365 projects). These will likely involve stories or thoughts on how my view of them has changed since taking the photograph, which is the case for today's post.
The past few days I have been digging through my hard drive to clean things up, and find things that I never got around to sharing. I took the images below back in July of last year. These tiny bottles have been the subjects of photographs before as part of past 365 projects. For the most part the bottles had some conceptual purpose in those photographs, but I shot them this time with no real purpose other than to take advantage of the last light coming through my bedroom window. However, when I came upon them this week, they took on new meaning for me.
That new meaning comes from two different places, though I am only going to go into much detail on one of those in this particular post. While I was doing research for the written component of my thesis, I was recommended an essay called Tiny Jubilations by Johanna Burton. Her essay is a review of photographer Peter Fraser's work, but some of the phrases she uses, along with the general ideas conveyed in the essay, are beautiful and inspiring (as the title alone should hint at). Essentially, through talking about Fraser's photographs, Burton highlights the importance of noticing the small things and taking joy from those things.
That essay wasn't directly on my mind while working on these images, and yet, as I thought of what to title them, the phrase Tiny Jubilations kept popping back into my head.
The second influence on the change of meaning is as a result of photographing a fellow graduate student's thesis show. I will be posting images of her show on here soon (hopefully), so I won't give too much away, but her show was partially focused on the importance of noticing the small things. She filled the gallery with tons of objects, creating an installation that invited exploration and discovery. Photographing her show reinvigorated my desire to capture these types of moments, and reaffirmed my love of them as well.
Seeing the light come through the string in these little bottles, and the shadows it produced on the windowsill, was (and is) beautiful to me. It seems like a perfect definition of the phrase Tiny Jubilations. Being able to notice these small, and seemingly insignificant moments, is such an incredible thing; being able to get joy from them is even better. It is one of the reasons I love being a photographer.
These Friday posts won't always have such a message attached to them (in fact they probably rarely will), but today I want to advise everyone to take a moment to slow down. It's pretty easy these days to rush through your routine, stay distracted by your phone, and not really pay attention to your surroundings. But this weekend, make it a goal to take some time and just look. I have to remind myself that from time to time, but it is so important to do. It will make your day so much more enjoyable.
That said, happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a beautiful weekend filled with Tiny Jubilations!