Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thinking Not Rushing

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

After seeing my work at this show in Tribeca, I was contacted by a new potential client about purchasing some work.  She visited my website and decided on this photograph above.

I am always so intrigued by the reasons that draw people to my work.  She and her husband apparently have a fondness for my beach.  This world is small -- funny that we should find each other with such similar interests. 

She asked me to provide a little bit of background on the photograph and I realized it's been a long while since I talked about an individual piece, my reasons for shooting the image and why I thought it was worth it to work on it and to explore.  It got me thinking about one of my resolutions for 2012: to be better to myself and to spend more time thinking and contemplating and not just always rushing to check things off of my list.

Anyway, here's what I said:

There is a long back story as to why I love photographing the ocean and the reasons why I started to turn my lens to the water and surroundings.  The majority of my work is urban and street photography.  I go out to shoot photos and I love to take part in someone else's world or experience.  I love the city and I love living here more than anything  but sometimes you just need to shut everything off and live in your own moment rather than working to be in everyone else's.

My husband and I bought a house in East Hampton almost six years ago.  After traveling back and forth from the city every weekend we started to fall in love with the countryside in the winter when it seemed like a lot of people stayed away.   We had the whole beach to ourselves and we would get out and walk on this seemingly abandoned stretch that is so crowded in the summer.  The beach is so alive when the weather is cold and when most people seem to turn their back on it.   Life is so noisy all the time.  Even when I look for a quiet place in my mind I can never seem to find it and this place is filled with so much silence that you can actually hear your own thoughts along with the wind rustling through the sea grass on the dunes.  The beach in winter is raw and so honest and this photo with its gray undertones and winter sky backdrop shows all the loveliness and beauty that is out there if only you take the time to look for it.

I pondered so many of my major life decisions here from whether I could find the guts to leave my job as a corporate lawyer to be a photographer full-time (I did) to whether I should give up on my hopes of having a baby because I struggled with infertility for years (I didn't).  I felt like I could tell this ocean so many of my secrets and it was comforting that no one ever spoke back to me except that howling wind on the dunes.  So it's also a very hopeful and spiritual place for me.

If you're curious, you can see a photo of the finished printed piece mounted on board over on my Facebook page.

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