Last winter I started the first of two photography classes taught by Vivienne McMaster. The focus of both classes: self-portraiture! It was the new year and I decided learning to take pictures of myself would be a good and daring challenge. Readers want to see authors and get a sense of the writer behind the pages and I knew I needed to get over this fear. So I held my breath and signed up.
What I found surprised me. The assignments were playful and fun and the class members created a rich and supportive environment for one another. I enjoyed myself so much I signed up for a second class after the first one was over—and not because I thought it would be good for me. I actually enjoyed it!
Not only did the daily photography work give me another creative outlet, but it challenged me to think of my creator-self in new ways. Just when I was comfortable with my writing voice, I had someone asking me to describe my visual voice in photography! We talked about how people move in the world and how we could capture those sensations in photographs and I started thinking about how I could describe many of those same things in my writing. By observing my photographer self emerging, I learned things about my writer self.
One of Vivienne’s first assignments was the photo walk. Today in Vivienne’s blog she describes working with a new class of students on that same assignment and she posts a photo walk of her own.
I had something else planned for this blog entry but, as soon as I saw Vivienne’s blog, I knew I had to post a photo walk here. As an Idaho writer, my surroundings influence every word I choose, every metaphor, every local phrase. I cannot imagine a richer place to begin and end my writing days.
Today I went on a photo walk with all of you in mind. It was a typical spring day in Southwest Idaho, storms rolling in one minute and blue skies the next. Here’s what you find just outside my door if you wander around for an hour or so. These things inspire me to write. What inspires you?