Photography Class Final Project

12 03 2009

Sometimes I forget what a procrastinator I am.

It all came rushing back, though, yesterday when I was throwing my project together at the last minute. Gosh, I’m so glad I’m done with school. There are lots of things I like and miss about being in school, but that strange sort of only-half-aware-of-anything-else frantic-ness—yeah, I don’t miss that so much.

When I say I was throwing my project together at the last minute, I don’t mean I was taking pictures up until the last minute. I have been taking pictures for weeks. I mean I was literally throwing it together: trying to stick my photos onto foam core and to get my artist’s statement printed out and to find something to take for the class potluck (one advantage of continuing ed, I guess).

I was only ten minutes late.

Or maybe fifteen.

Anyway, without further ado I present my final project:

(and, since it was my mom’s idea, she’s the lucky winner of a Chicago song sung by me next time I see her. Hey, Mom, I think I stole the sheet music for ‘You’re the Inspiration’ from you about ten years ago. Maybe I’ll finally learn how to play it for when I sing it to you. I know you can’t wait.)






We were supposed to write an artist’s statement to go along with our photos. I thought about mine a lot, and was fairly pleased with how it turned out. I didn’t really want to read it in front of the class, though.

When I got to class, and we started showing our pictures, I realized everyone else had artist statements that were about three sentences long.

Mine is a page.

I reallydidn’t want to read it in front of the class, then. After showing my photos, my teacher didn’t mention my artist statement, so I thought, “Phew.” However, after the last person had gone, my teacher said something like, “I really appreciate those of you who took the time to write up your artist statements.”

Apparently, I need validation.

I said, “I wrote one, too. But it’s kind of long.”

And then I read it in front of everyone.

After I was done, one of my class members said, “If the photography thing doesn’t work out for you, you could be a writer.” (I think she said that because my artist statment is as long as a book.) Anyway, here it is:



            The act of creating something—a painting, a story, a photograph, a quilt—is something I hold close to my heart. In my photo series, I tried to show the metamorphosis between something without inherent value (a piece of fabric in this case) and how, through creativity, it was turned into something valuable.

            Changing from nothing to something is a huge leap. The fabric itself doesn’t feel different, but its use has been expanded through the creative act. While the fabric is changed physically, it’s the creative person who brought about those physical changes, and, in turn, the person who experiences growth.

            Although I enjoy sewing, I don’t consider myself proficient. When I want to make something I almost always use a pattern. Does that negate my creative act? I don’t think so. Just as artists study the work of great masters, so can I use another’s creativity to spur on my own.

            Just as thousands of writers have used the same words to create different stories and thousands of composers have used the same notes and instruments to create different songs, so, too, does every person bring something unique to their creations.

            In photographing the development of a sewing project, I looked for ways to make this commonplace process visually interesting. It’s difficult to show the way a person is enlightened through a creative act, to illustrate the spark of creativity that makes something a little bit better than it would be without it. I don’t know if I captured that or not. I do know this, though: I learned a lot about creativity, both through sewing and photography.

            Whether it be creating clothes from pieces of fabric or creating pictures from what passes through a camera’s viewfinder, the act of creation stretches us to look outside ourselves and become better than we are.

Does that sound too pompous? I hope not. Anyway, photo class is over. I learned a lot, but I’ll be glad to have my Wednesday evenings back so I can learn about emergency preparedness.



13 responses

12 03 2009
Mrs. Olsen

Well said. It’s easy to lose the beauty of throwing yourself into an act of creating something unique, cute, or beautiful when you’re chasing rugrats around.

P.S. the apron turned out great.

12 03 2009

It’s supposed to sound pompous it’s an artists statement. Well done!

12 03 2009

I love it. You are not pompous–you are an overacheiver. Now, what are you doing on Wednesdays to learn about emergency preparedness? Watching LOST?

12 03 2009

I loved the apron, pictures, and your artist’s statement and not just because I’m your Mom. I will never be the wonderful writer that you are and I appreciate the way you put words together to delight those that read them. Great job!

12 03 2009

Great job Wendy. I loved the apron, pictures and your writer’s statement. Keep up the good work. You are very talented and I appreciate those talents. Can’t wait for you to sing to me.

12 03 2009

Love the pics. Is that you in the apron? Tyler and I have a bet going….

12 03 2009

wow, those turned out great…it makes me want to go create something on my sewing machine.

13 03 2009

T & A–not me in the picture. A friend kindly pretended to cook while I took photos of her.

Mandy–not LOST (although my sister-in-law loves that show and has said if the producers hadn’t capitalized it already she would have)–just a preparedness interest group for church.

14 03 2009

Love the final product! you did a really good job, and it’s obvious you learned a lot in the process. I think I know which friend modeled that for you ;-)!

18 03 2009

A+ on BOTH projects! ! ! Nice work, girl.

26 03 2009

Oh Wanda, beautiful seamstress and writer. Very cool.
I love that you needed the teacher to know that you completed your assignment so badly that you were willing to read your long statement – it was a good statement. No shame in that one.

26 04 2009

I’m with the students in your class. Everytime I read your blog I am impressed not only with the photography, but with your writing.

1 05 2009

You are a talented woman!

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