Second Show: The Stories, Part Two

You can see all my posts about my first public photography show here. Catch up on the second show here.

This panorama shows my exhibit as a whole, but I wanted to talk about a few of the pieces at a time, and explain what they mean to me and why I chose them for this exhibit.

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I’m starting with my favorite photos, which I hung on the walls you look at as you walk into the lobby. I typically park in Playhouse’s main lot and walk in through this door, so it made sense to me. I guess some (most?) people might go in through the main doors and leave through this exit? Or never see this area at all? But in my mind it’s pretty well-trafficked, so I feel good about this choice.

The last post took you to the left, but this time I want to focus on the two I hung all by their lonesomes, on the little bit of wall that you pass by as you walk down the hall to the main lobby of Playhouse. These two photos are probably my favorite of the whole show, but that might change with each explanation post I write. I definitely thought I knew my standout favorites, but I’ve started to love more of my own work as I hung it and really pushed myself to see it as an outside observer instead of the creator.

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The top photo, “The Journey”, is actually the header on my website, though you might not see it depending on how you view the site (mobile, desktop, etc). It’s one of my all-time favorites because not only is it beautiful, and seemingly classic, but it was taken on the first official day of travel with my friend when we took on the US. I had just lost my job because the company was sold overseas, so instead of competing with my coworkers for the limited design positions in the city, I decided to travel nonstop for several months. I was excited leading up to it, nervous right as it began, but then… this view. This experience of driving these roads in states I’d never visited… It was eye-opening and empowering. So this photo is everything to me. It was specifically taken near Mono Lake, California, a place I’ve been dreaming of revisiting ever since we left.

The bottom photo was taken in the tiniest hotel room ever, in New York City. I’ve always loved it because of the composition, and because I’m stubborn and contrary and love that it says “NO” so clearly. But as I thought about including it in this show, I tried to look at it objectively. I originally wanted simple black frames for everything in this show, but the gold in the frame really works well with the lock (more noticeable in person). Then I realized the design on the gold frame (again, better seen in person) is very delicate, so I love the idea of the bright red, firm “NO” being juxtaposed against something so delicate and pretty. Then I looked at it again – the “NO” isn’t on the outside of the door, telling housekeeping they can skip this room. It’s inside, so whoever is staying inside the room can see it. The title, “Ask First”, came to me in that moment. With so much in the news about consent, I liked the idea of the title making this piece more than it seems on the surface.

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