Tuesday, December 30, 2008


When I was in college, I thought I might like to be an anthropologist. People fascinate me. I once saw a very large book someone had made with photos and handwritten notes describing the lives of some remote civilization. I considered it a work of art and had the idea that I could someday do one of my own intimate 'civilization', my extended family. I could observe in a scientific and remote way, noting the details of our customs, traditions, clothing, eating habits and language. I wanted one of those large books with beautiful handwriting and lovely warm black and white photographs pasted onto big sheets of heavy off-white paper. I imagined it for a long time but I never got it done.

I am a photographer and at the time, I was studying art history. I had three young children and no time. I should have begun then to write and describe. I did photograph and lately I've realized I have a running record of "my civilization" in negatives, prints, slides, polaroids and now digital form.

What continues to interest me about photography is the record, the moment, the time stopped for that part of a second. Don't get me wrong, I love beautiful light and intersting form but for me, the time, the place, the person or people at a given time is what intrigues me.

I spend hours scanning photos belonging to my husband's family. They date to the late 1800s. Whenever anyone gives me a chance to see their family albums, I will sit happily for as long as I am allowed, looking at every image. I read them, trying to get a feeling for the life, the emotions, of both the photographer and the subject. I like to think I am good at it but who knows.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer's End

Summer is virtually over here in Northern Michigan. Despite the still warm daytime temperatures, you can feel the chill in the air at night as it drops into the 40s. There is never enough Summer here for a person who spent so many years in California where it is perpetually sunny and never has that Michigan bite of winter, Autumn and even Spring.

This year has been one of extremes, and I'm not talking about weather anymore. It seems like we are entering a new phase of our life as a family. For the first time in very many years, only my daughter, Lauren, and her two children were able to come for the summer visit and even they had to make it only a week. Duke and Rosemary are confronting the challenges that most young marrieds face.

Evan just married a wonderful girl, Clara, in March. Schedules have changed and lives have changed. Alexandra is now living in New York City, Jake is at Los Gatos High School, Lauren is involved in work and theatre projects, Evan is off to Spain to supervise visual FX on a film for almost half a year. I love change and view it as opportunity, a chance to create something new and make lives better so I'm not disappointed.

Dan and I are in a new phase. We are ready to return to California for more of our year. We are working hard as artists to build a following and to support ourselves with our creativity. It is a leap across a wide chasm but not one we are not poised and ready to do. Bravery, persistence an understanding of marketing will see us through.

I have a great backlog of photography ready to be marketed and Dan is becoming increasingly well know in the jazz/music world. His web site, danjacobsmusic.com is visited by thousands each month. We are each ready to take that leap.

The photo above is of us and the Theodores, Dan's sister's family. Each year we do one or more "jump" photos. When the spirit moves us it has become a thing we all do, individually and as a group.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 and life in the far North

Here it is, 2008, an election year. We get to decide who will be president. Of course, 'we' don't really decide. The game is rigged and political parties and candidates are playing a game of Risk. I remember crying when I played with my sons and husband because they were so ruthless and cruel (or so it seemed to me). That is how I see these campaignes. The person who can seem the nicest and most honest (despite how his henchmen lie and scheme) will be our winner. I'm a cynic about our political system. The media perpetuates it all. I have noticed they barely mention Ron Paul even though he has consistently beat out Guiliani in the primaries! It is not the way it's supposed to be. Money and dirty tricks, lies and cheating buy you the Presidency of the United States. Is it any wonder that we have the kind of people we do in the top eschelons of our government?

As for me, I remain interested and my 'glass is half full' side still hopes.

I start a new job this coming Wednesday. I hope it works out. I continue to do more photos and am working to get some things together to show.