On a brisk, cool evening, Ian, his sister Leneé and I met in Charlottesville to venture out and photograph in the evening light. Ian is a songwriter and musician from Norfolk, Virginia, and has become a dear friend over the past few years. This past week he released his new record, "Lineage." I could not wait for the world to hear this music. You can hear how this record has been crafted with care, time, and precision. I loved being able to photograph Ian in this way, and for moments throughout his journey as an artist -- as he played at The Farm House this year and last (with a small clip of us in his Kickstarter video, my cat even made it in a clip). Go listen.
It is the 11th. A number that has been significant in my life for quite sometime (and that’s a story for another time). It has been some time coming for me to begin a blog again, and there is no time like the present. I have wanted to have a space to share the daily and weekly beautiful moments of life, and the little bits of wisdom I have picked up along the way.
How do you begin again?
You begin again by sharing your story.
I think it’s important to share vulnerably, and from the heart, your story. It allows others to take part with you, and see their own even more clearly. We sharpen each other in this way, and it is powerful.
So, here we are. Sharing in each other’s stories, together.
I have always been a storyteller through my photographs and through my movement as a dancer — in every way that I find I express myself, I am sharing story. I have thought many times of beginning a blog just for my photography, or just for my dancing and choreography, or just for the community space I help facilitate in Charlottesville… but it all belongs together.
My wiser, older brother spoke something to me one time when I lived in Cleveland, dancing and training with a modern dance company. I lived in a little white house on the east side of Cleveland, and we had a little potbelly stove. One night, I fell exhausted in my living room… at yet another end of my creative self. I called him on west coast time, and we talked late into the night sitting in front of the fire. He said, “Lauren, you are tending to all these small fires. One here, one there, comparing them to each other — and it is exhausting you. You need to put all of your fire in one place. Give it boundaries, just like the wood stove in front of you… put all the fire in one place, and close the door. Tell it where to burn, and let it burn brightly.”
You know those defining moments that you know you will remember forever? This was one of them. I knew when he spoke those words, they were beyond even him speaking to me… they were straight from God to my heart.
This has stuck with me for many years now, and I keep coming back to it when I think of my work — and when I think of this blog.
It all belongs in one place.
The stories of my creative process.
The passion projects.
All of it.
It all belongs together.
So, that is what you will find here. A lot of vulnerability, and a lot of sharing of my experience as a artist, as a community leader, as a photographer, as a director of a growing artist community; and all of the struggles and beauty that come along with it.
Join me in the journey of sharing with you, and I pray it is an encouragement to you in your journey and in your story. Burn, and burn brightly.
I am just a girl from West Virginia, born and raised, seeking beauty and shared community in Charlottesville, VA. I am a photographer, a dancer and choreographer, a musician, and storyteller.