Tapping into the human condition

I spent the last 10 years hiding away from people. I am awkward in social situations. I spent so much time alone thinking, that I forgot what it was like to connect to people. I may have even lost my empathy and compassion for people outside of my family. I’m not sure what happened to make me disconnect.

 

Now, all I think of is how I am going to turn my camera around and capture all the things about being human that I’ve been missing. How can I tap into humanity, connect with people again, on a whole new level.

All of these feelings I have are essential for empathizing with others. It’s basic emotions that bring people together… longing, love, pain.

If I had never experienced pain, would I have empathy? I f I had never been alone, would I know what it’s like to long? How can I use my past experiences to connect to people genuinely? How can I create a portrait of a human condition with the tools I have been given?

Then I wonder if all of this is out of some selfish need to feel relevant in the world, satisfying the unconscious.

What is really important to me now?

My son, my parents, my friends and their families. Teaching my son culture and humility, humbly. Helping people in need, not with money, with kindness and my two hands. Being genuine, real and not living through my ego. Building bridges and relationships with people. Being kind and having good intents..showing my son how to be transparent with his actions.

How can I use my own life experiences to bring awareness to causes that I hold close to my heart?

After speaking with Ed Kashi, something clicked. Was it his words or his tone? I think it was his genuine desire to understand my situation as we talked. He had questions to better understand me and where I was coming from. Then, he shut his mouth, and allowed me to speak. He listened. It was a moment in my world where I felt like someone was hearing my voice, I longed to be more like him… more human.

Finding my voice in photography has been a journey. Chasing my dreams, one after another… never giving up completely. I have had a very diverse path in getting here, and it’s taught me a lot about life, myself and relationships. I am learning to have the courage to let go and allow myself to enjoy the small moments along the way.

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Test shoot with a Mamiya 645 & a bulldog named Winston

I finally got some of the film developed from my first test with my bulldog Winston. I really love the feel of film. The aesthetic could be compared to listening to a record. The nostalgic qualities of the clicks and pops, the warmth of the sound. Same with film, and when you get to shoot with medium format, the desire for digital fades like a mediocre dream. There is so much depth to this, like I’ve gone beyond the two dimensional surface and into little Winston’s soul.

These are straight out of the camera, no time to even process them any further than chemistry. I love it when things work out right, the first time around.

Winston Winner

ambiente e me

Miss Melo

 

These are a few of my self portraits I’ve been taking in the sun. They are double exposures of me and my environment. Plastic cameras are  way too fun to put down. 🙂

Going back in time with Vietnam

 buddha_fenced

A five hour drive south of Saigon will land you in the heart of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The canals and waterways are a lifeline for the Vietnamese farmers. Their goods are carried to the floating markets via water. Hidden between thick jungle and a maze of canals you can find beautifully aged temples. The ruins and reminders of French architecture still haunt the land, what remains slowly crumbles back to the earth. A visually stunning country, filled with colorful, friendly people.

**All of the images on this site have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.