Hello dear friends, family, and supporters of Frank Leonard Photography. Welcome to those of you who signed up for updates during this past Open Studios.
It has been a long time since you have heard from me. There have been some changes of perspective in my life as a person and as a photographer over the past four months and I would like to share some of them with you:
1) I have learned the absolute value of integrity in being an artist and a creator. For me, the bottom line has become this – If I am creating my art in hopes that it will be acceptable to others, then I might as well throw in the camera. If art does not begin with each of us being in touch with what is authentic and real within us, and from that place expressing that which calls or screams out to be expressed, then we have lost the ballgame before we even start.
2) I have learned even more about the beauty of more fully collaborating with those I photograph. I have for years photographed models as I would like to see them portrayed. I want to turn that dynamic upside down. How do you want to be photographed? How do you want to be seen in the world? Whether you are naked or clothed, elaborate or simple, in your work attire or holding your grandchild, how do you want to express your character, your passion, your life, your truth, to the world?
3) I have learned to be confident in my own self and to enjoy my daily projects here on the homestead. For awhile I thought maybe I had become a hermit, but that’s not it. I am a social person. And, at the same time, I am learning the pure joy of creating all kinds of things, without the need to social message every step of the process along the way. For me, I learned that having to always share everything was another way of me seeking approval. And those days are fading fast.
In light of these three lessons from my last four months of living, I want to share a new adventure I have embarked upon, and I want to extend an invitation to you.
I have finally built a permanent photo studio in one of my gallery rooms. It only took me fourteen years of setting up and breaking down everything for every indoor photoshoot or even the simplest of art reproduction jobs. I had all the equipment and lighting necessary, just not a permanent space. Not any more.
If you choose to take me up on this offer, you will receive a large printed photo (maximum 13×19 inches) of your favorite image. I will receive permission from you to use one image as a part of this “How do I want to be seen?” body of work. At some point in time this body of work will be published, in one form or another, digital and/or in print.
I hope you will choose to become a part of this new body of work, which begins not with how I want to portray you, but how you want to portray yourself. Contact information is below. I would love to hear from you and have you join me in this creation of art.
Ben Lomond, California