I Promise, No Spoilers
I couldn’t help but feel guilty coming back to work from my sabbatical. Freelancing has a way of leading you down a rabbit hole of feeling like you’re never doing enough and you’re never earning enough. These seventh-week sabbaticals are a way of harnessing myself so that I don’t wander too far down that hole. I know they’re good for me; the trip to Mexico was so inspiring. Still it’s hard to give myself whole-hearted permission to do it, but here’s to trusting the process.
While I was in Mexico, a personal project that’s been in the works for a few months, gained some traction. My friend Jeannie is a floral designer that I’ve worked with before on a shoot.
We were talking about what we wanted to work on next, and we agreed we wanted to do something that had bigger impact than just to make some pretty photos. As I started to think of what we could do, Restore NYC immediately came to mind. They are a non-profit dedicated to helping women who are survivors of sex trafficking. They seek to provide housing and training for survivors reintegrating into society. I’ve worked with them before: photographing their galas, and also doing a shoot for their rebranding in 2013. I reached out to my friend Fay who is the Director of Development there.
She responded with a lot of interest about our idea. She wants us to photograph graduates of their program, and exhibit the photos at their 10th Anniversary Gala in September this year. Jeannie and I were hoping to just do a shoot, but this is all terribly exciting. It’ll take a lot of planning and empathy to listen to these women’s stories and think through how we can honor them. I really hope this project works out.
What I'm Reading
New Yorker Magazine
I’ve been trying to be better about reading my New Yorker subscription. I'm guessing 90% of people who subscribe to the magazine also have a stack of them on a table somewhere, wanting to read them. I’ve tried to be honest with myself, and throw away weeks old issues, knowing I won’t ever get to read them. I’ve started reading articles in bed before I sleep, and that’s helped slowly chip away at them. I recently read one about the aurora borealis and one about paleontology. Two topics I didn’t have any interest in, but loved reading about. Have there been any articles you’ve read that I would’ve missed?
What I'm Watching
I promise, no spoilers here whatsoever. All I will say is I have to watch it again. The work that Marvel has done these past ten years to create this universe is fascinating. It seems obvious now, but the risks they took to make this happen have been so courageous. They couldn't have known it would be this successful. They did their best, one movie at a time, until there was 22 of them. Nothing at this scale has been done in before and executed so well. To have been in an IMAX theater, on opening weekend, and enjoying it with laughter and applause, was all so deeply satisfying.
2008 Beijing Olympics 400m Freestyle Relay
I’ve been swimming for a few months, and it’s been wonderful. I’ve started watching YouTube videos on how to swim better, and also getting inspired by Michael Phelps when he won all those medals in 2008. His individual races are fun to watch, but my favorites are the relays he’s a part of, especially this one. In it, USA was in second or third place the entire race until the last 75 meters. The team captain, Lezak, pushed and pushed and won the French by 8/100th of a second. At the stat of Lezak’s swim, the announcer says he doesn’t think USA can beat the French, then his voice is one of surprise and joy as Lezak catches up and beats him in the final lap.
What I'm Listening To
Tim Ferris’ Interview with Neil Gaiman
It was such a great interview. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Neil Gaiman until this interview. It’s a severe consequence of not reading enough fiction. He’s a fantasy and sci-fi writer, two genres that I love. He has a rabid fan base that some of you probably are sitting there with a palm on your face as you read this. I love how he talks. I love his writing. I'm not a dog person, but this blog post made me tear up. Tim mentioned how his audiobook The Graveyard Book was so great, so I'm going to start there. Please rid me of my ignorance and suggest any of his favorite books if you’re a fan!