Friday, October 17, 2008

EAW - Sensory overload

(My raw edit of my Eddie Adams Workshop XXI story entitled "Baby")

The past couple days I've been trying to catch up on life and work, oh, and sleep. I am struggling to move on from the Eddie Adams Workshop, I had such a great time, it's difficult to jump right back into my normal life.

Since coming back to Baltimore, I still don't know whether to laugh, smile, cry, or be mad. Over the long weekend, I fell in and out of love with photography many times, for various unknown reasons. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. But I suspect there are many lessons that will become apparent in the weeks to come that I haven’t considered yet.

It’s hard to find the combination of words to describe what I am feeling: Happiness. Sadness. Overwhelmed. Sensory stimulation. Sleep deprivation. Passion. Excitement. Fun. Inspiring. Unforgettable.

Whatever words and thoughts spit out of my mouth, my brain still cannot process all of it at once. When past attendees say it's like a religious, spiritual journey. It really is.

Yet if anything, I feel privileged to be selected in this small group, this fraternity of great photographers.

The photographers I heard speak were intelligent, touching and profound (and did I mention witty?). The fellow students, professionals work I saw was a photographic concoction of inspiration for my mind body pupils and soul. Its been nearly impossible to digest all this incredible photojournalism.

Aside from my personal thoughts, I was apart of the yellow team. Our squad was led by National Geographic Director of Photography David Griffin, Gerd Ludwig, also of National Geographic, and Guy Solimano of AOL.

Our focus was pregnancy. Our stories revolved around those having children for the first time, young and old, those with multiple kids, those ready to give birth, and those working in the profession of health care and more.

After getting two assignments changed on me only because I had a car, I landed with 22-year-old Arielle Parker, who lived in Livingston Manor, Ny., with her parents, siblings and four-year-old son, Donovan, in a tiny two bedroom apartment. Not small to the average person, just extremely cluttered with all the bodies living in it.

Being due a day prior to us meeting, yet still pregnant, I focused on the relationship between Parker and her son. She had recently moved home from New York city to get some help with her pregnancy.

I hung out with her for about 10-hours in two-days trying to tell her story of pregnancy, but her story was more about how she loved her "baby." Despite being ready to pop, she was chasing him around, picking him up and caring for him non-stop.

They had a great relationship, whether she was feeling sick at home, playing with him on the playground, laughing at his funny antics, watching her brothers football game or simply loving him. Although she often had to yell "baby" to get him to listen to her sometimes, he had a great mom.

I wasn't completly happy with my take or my final story, which only included maybe a quarter of the above images (above is my entire "raw edit" of the story). I wish I could have had some say in what images were used, how to crop my photos and simply more time with my subjects. But it is what it is and I learned from it.

Overall, this is one weekend I'll never forget. The ups and downs. The good photos and bad. The no sleep and sleep...wait a minute.

Maybe I am having an epiphany? Maybe these are normal reactions and thoughts after Barnstorm? Who knows. What I do know is that I feel a sense of change. There is a new life ahead of me and I am equipped with fresh ideas and vision.

This has been one hello of a ride. Thanks for everything to everyone involved. And of course, thanks, Eddie.


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