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I never did care for pie

 

Aimee and I are currently enrolled in a year long family documentary photography classin which we have been finding cracks of time to get assignments and projects done

as well as watch interviews, lessons and critiques online.

 

This month we studied conceptual photography, which is a type of photography that illustrates an idea.

We are so used to documenting, letting the world tell the story, but for this project the idea was up to us.

 

After much thought, I decided to use a quote that I read years ago and it has stuck with me.

 

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

Tenneva Jordan

 

This is me.

I am in constant battle with myself. Constantly wanting to reach outside this bubble I’m in.

But inside I know. This is my job. This is my job right now.

To give them my time, my effort, my peace and sometimes my sanity.

This project is about what I give to my kids. In abundance.

And that it is a beautiful thing.

 

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  • Leanne10/18/2018 - 6:50 PM

    Great work Jenna. The pictures that drew me the most were the ones where you are covered in flour. For me it seemed like a really interesting way to depict a kind of denial of our own needs or identity in favour of the needs of our children.ReplyCancel

“Lessons”

Edmonton child poses in an old schoolhouse for a provocative conceptual portrait“Lessons”

I thought it might be fun to share a little bit about why I made this picture and the process of how it came to be.

First of all, if left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t have made creating this image a priority….which means it would never have happened.  We are currently working our way through a year long group mentorship with Kirsten Lewis.  This photograph was my submission for September’s conceptual assignment.  I’d never tried my hand at conceptual photography.  As most of you know, we’re pretty literal photographers over here.  Stepping outside my comfort zone of photographing weddings, families and birth, was intimidating, but ultimately, really fun!

Once I got down to brainstorming ideas, I was actually overwhelmed by how many potential concepts came to mind.  It was September and I was up to my ears in work.  So, I eliminated the ideas that were too grandiose or required elaborate costuming, sets, or lots of people.  That narrowed my list to two options.  Neither of which became this picture.  Funny how that works.

Jen had already decided on the direction of her shoot and I didn’t want to do something too similar, so that made my decision easy.

While I was in the process of planning my schoolhouse shoot and rolling my concept around and around in my head, the idea of writing lines popped into my mind.  On the radio, there was some mention of Trump and immediately “I will not grab her by the pussy” added itself to my line writing thought.

One of my sons – the one modelling here – is very interested in politics and events and soaks in everything CBC Radio has to offer.  I remember his disbelief when he first heard, on the radio, about the “grab her by the pussy” statement.  He was eight years old at the time.  I could see the wheels turning as he was trying to correlate someone who would speak this way with someone who was in line to run an entire nation.  One thing was clear in his mind…this isn’t how you speak about women.  About anyone.  And yet, he was also seeing a nation turn a blind eye and hand this same person an incredible amount of power.  It’s a difficult thing to reconcile and a sad testament to the state of our culture.  We’ve had some wonderful conversations about this.  Discussed examples we’ve seen in our own life right down to comments made at school or on his football team.

As for the picture itself.  I have two versions and this one just spoke to me.  Drew me in.  In the first, he wears an expression of surly entitlement leaning on the chalkboard ledge aggressively.  This is what I was thinking of originally for this shot.  But then, he glanced to me from the chalkboard where he was dutifully writing the lines to make this image.  I clicked the shutter.  And this is what I got and it punched me in the gut.  A beautiful boy – well dressed, well groomed, suit jacket draped on his desk chair – completing a traditional punishment for a transgression committed.  And while he is submitting to the consequence, the juxtaposition of the strong words with his innocent expression is perfect.  The boy in this picture is being punished, but he doesn’t see any wrongdoing.  He’s incredulous.  He was simply doing what men do.  What powerful men do.  And that is who our boys emulate.

While the response to this photograph has been overwhelmingly positive, I have had a handful of people suggest this isn’t appropriate material for a child.  I get it.  It’s a jarring scene with ugly words.  But these conversations are important and we need to be having more of them.  I, for one, would like to see a change and the key to that lies in educating our youth.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at hobbsphotography@live.ca.

Also, Jen shot an incredibly beautiful series for this assignment about motherhood that she’s going to share this week – so stay tuned!

xx Aimee

 

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  • Leanne Fraser10/18/2018 - 6:34 PM

    Amazing Aimee! I 100% percent agree that we need to have conversations with our children about uncomfortable topics like assault and consent. More parents need to tackle these thorny issues rather than hoping they will just go away. I love this picture. ReplyCancel

Emotive Studio Portraits for Edmonton Families

emotive portrait of a young uncle and his nephewYears ago, we started looking for a studio space in Edmonton or the surrounding area that we could use for some indoor sessions.  We wanted something that would work with our style.  After some searching and trying a few, we decided we just needed to create our own.  And The Grain Shed Studio was born!  It took a ton of work and so much help from family and friends.  Needless to say, we love it!  Every time I walk in the door, I look at the barnboard wall we foraged with out littles, the antique brick around our fireplace my brother laid, the windows my hubby nabbed from the old Stony Plain Coop and smile.  It’s a quirky little space with rough floors and crooked trim, but we are so proud to call it ours.  And we LOVE making portraits in it!  If you’d like to come visit The Grain Shed Studio, we decided to open a date for some 30 minute studio sessions!  We love creating this emotive sessions in this space.  Pared down.  Simple.  Honest.  Where the smile and say cheese photo may be damned.

Here’s the info:

When:   October 17th, 2018  –  Sessions available from 9:30 – 3:30

Where:  The Grain Shed Studio (6 miles west of Stony Plain)

Cost:  Session Fee – $175

Then you choose – $300 for 5 photographs or $500 for 15

We’d love to see you!

Email hobbsphotography@live.ca to book.

a detail shot of a mother and her son's hands as he snuggles on her kneeedmonton photography studio maternity sessionmom breastfeeds baby while toddler plays with her hair in simple studio sessiona mother surrounded by her four children at our photography studio near Edmonton, Alberta

 

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