Glass, copper, and handmade paper? What could be better? Adding ‘book’ and ‘photography’ into that mix. I LOVE this book. A beautiful, handmade book, with glass covers, hand-hewn copper binding, with my photographs printed on beautiful fine art rag pages.
This set was commissioned by my client and the shoot, book, and photos are a package or available individually – book only (blank), book with your photos, book with my photos, or a commissioned shoot just for you. Prices vary.
I’m waiting in a garage in Colorado, hoping they can get that spare part I need soho can get on just way. When I walked in, the two mechanics behind the desk were so if a whole lot of snorting and heavy breathing.
My dear friend told me an astonishing thing: he is passionate about nothing. He enjoys life, is happy and busy, but passion? No, he said. Then he told me a second surprising thing:
“I need to find out why.”
To me, this sounded as if he is feeling there is something wrong with him, as he is not internally experiencing what is externally called “passion.” Living a life with passion in the U.S. is de rigueur. Anyone living without a passion needs to find one right away. Go to classes. Talk to a therapist. Find out what is wrong with you. We undergo a tremendous amount of pressure to have, and live, in a state of passion.
But is that really healthy? Is it even a natural state? Is my friend, for instance, broken or impaired if he does not have a driving passion, or do he just lack a true understanding of his ‘natural state’? What if his natural state does not include passion at all – is that like having a misappointed soul?
What if he is happy but not wildly passionate, or driven? Is that ok? Is that enough?
And what about purpose? Is life worth living without purpose? Is a life worth living if it is a happy, content life, but with no particular purpose? In both of these cases the answer could be yes, or no. The reasons for a lack of passion or purpose could be fear or lack of resources. But even this implies lack.
My sweet dog Henry is sleeping next to me as I write. He was engineered, as a pug, for companionship. He’s lucky – there’s paperwork on his purpose, which seems to be to hang out with me all day or anyone whose lap he can conquer for napping. What if he has no purpose? Is his little pug life less worthy, less living, than the life he was given? And what of children? Are they only worthy of just being happy but only until they are, say, 16, at which point they need to start thinking about purpose and passion?
I wonder if passion and purpose were invented during the industrial revolution to get people to work more, or, during the 60’s, as a result of working too much. I might have to research this.
Is a life truly lacking if the bearer simply is?
I don’t have the answer to this for myself. How about you? What do you think? Do you have purpose and/or passion? Do they go together? How does your view of yourself turn based on these components?
If you aren’t passionate or purposeful, is that ok with you? How do you feel about yourself in this regard? Are you trying to change it?
If you are, what do you feel about that part of you? What if it went away? What if your passion evaporated tomorrow – who would you be then?
Planning is a terrific challenge for me. With a mind that speeds and veers, it’s not uncommon to drop into mental potholes as they slip onto my visual runway when faced with options.
Picturing such a myriad of possible outcomes can be daunting for me. Today in my mental planning session, I eased onto a quiet country road in my thoughts, and wondered, what is my coolest possible future? This was easy!
I pictured more coolness: what fun, cool steps do I need to take to get to the coolest possible future available this week, this month, next year? THIS I can see!
For four years, I’ve wanted to photograph the nuns of Bhutan. At last today I sent off that letter to initiate that project.
What is your coolest possible future? What is the soonest cool date you can get there, and what one cool step can you take today to get there, no matter how small that step or distant the goal? Can you clearly picture that sweet future and those fun steps?
The meadow was bathed in orange evening light, the velvety summer air smooth and luxurious on our bare shoulders. For photographers, this is the God Hour. The stunning backdrop of the crunchy summer meadow, its tall, reedy plants swaying and scratching each other in the breeze, was almost unbearably beautiful. We were wrapping up. The final shot, the model directly in front of the setting sun, and my friend Meggan Joy, the photographer, had asked me to shoot behind the scenes shots for her while she shot a senior portrait, along with her husband.
None of us realized that resting somewhere in this vast amber meadow was a little yellow bird and a big, black SUV. The police pulled the big machine up behind our cars, blocking us in, and bellowed from their windows to go back to our cars immediately. I was elated to have gotten that last shot, and wondered what the hell was happening.
As we handed over our ID’s and registration, the shorter of the two short men informed us that we were trespassing into a protected area, due to the presence in this meadow of an endangered species. From under his authority-imbued eyebrows, he informed us that we were on Federal land, and could potentially be arrested for trespassing, or heavily fined, or have our cars impounded, or all of the above. The second stood on the far side of my car, looking in through my passenger window. He seemed to be willing my camera, pregnant with amber-lit shots and waiting in the front seat, to give up its secrets.
They were tough alright, with their black car/crewcuts/uniforms/guns. But even a bad ass cop looks less fierce when, after I ask him what exactly is the name of the endangered animal, answers a little meekly, “Oh, well…I believe it’s called a Streak Horned Lark.” Turns out this little lark is on the “proposed” list for endangerment, but is not yet. Good news! It was obvious we were only there photographing, and had no idea we were potentially harming any birds. We had followed back roads and simply did not see the signs.
After 30 minutes, we were duly and sternly warned and free to go, and given instructions about how to purchase a permit for the future. In the meantime, we walked away with beautiful, sunset shots from the God Hour, and I was pleased to know there are police out there patrolling on behalf of innocent birds nesting on the ground. As it turns out, the bird has been proposed to be endangered, though is not official yet. Nonetheless, one mustn’t cause unnecessary tweets of the actual variety.
The Streak Horned Lark is lucky to have bad ass cops, a gorgeous, open meadow, and plenty of God Light every single day. That’s a beautiful thing.
If you’d like to learn more, click here for a bit more information about this little bird – the original kind, strictly tweeting offline.
My dog Henry was telling me all about how he swiped the New York Times Sunday crossword and completed the whole thing in pen before I got out of bed. “Yeah, sure, that’s just hilarious,” I said…Copyright 2013 Anjani Millet
I’m proud to have a few of my four-legged portraits featured in The Daily Dog Tag, a terrific site that loves dogs as much as I do. I shot this on a sunny afternoon in Seattle (we do have them!), focusing on flat-faced dogs for this feature. I’m thrilled to share this publication which just came out today, featuring my work and, even better, my own Henry gets a cameo. Thank you, Daily Dog Tag!