Boondock Ramblings

Find my work at http://www.lisahoweler.com

I always want to remember | Sayre PA Child Photographer

I always want to remember these days. The days when you grabbed Four, the old cat at Grandma and Grandpa’s that used to be mine, and tried to carry her around the porch like one of your dolls. We were lucky she didn’t try to scratch you, since she’s an outdoor cat and your used to the ones that live indoors.

I want to remember how you took off for the stairs by yourself and reached up for my hand and then walked down those high concrete steps with only my hand as your support. At 16 months of age and already climbing stairs on your own, not crawling but actually doing your best to walk up them on your own.

The Christmas Star | Athens, PA photographer

Each year he pulls it from the barn where he stores it and checks the bulbs in the light strings. 

This year he had a knee and back injury so his grandson helped him drag it into the garage for the inspection before it was placed on the hill by the house, above the nativity scene.

He built it several years ago to reflect the true meaning of the season.

Now the Christmas star my dad built is a tradition that even non family members look for each year.

Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angelshine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes there is always enough left to lasso your heart. . .– Alan Beck

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Why I photograph | Pennsylvania Photographer

Recently I’ve been watching photography documentaries and reading about various photographers and why they photograph. Consequently, I’ve been thinking about why I fell in love with photography

It’s pretty simple.

I wanted to document life, my life and the lives of those around me. I wanted to capture a person how they really were in a particular moment.

The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” — Andy Warhol

I still want to document life and since my life now entertwines with those of my children, I find my lens often focused on them.

I document the lives of my children so I can remember the good, fun, crazy, true, and real moments of their childhood and through that they can remember them too.

Photography captures that one specific moment, isolating it from all the others. Photographs tell a story when words can’t or simply aren’t enough.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.

When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” — Ansel Adams

Capturing a specific moment or person and revealing the truth within the frame is something that is so clear in the photos taken by Vivian Maier. Maier never shared her photographs with anyone. Instead her art was private to her and for her. Her images captured the lives of the children she nannied but also the characters of Chicago in the1950s, 60s, and 70s. More than simply “taking a picture”, she revealed the souls of people most of us never see. We see a man on the sidewalk and he’s wearing a torn shirt and his shoes are covered in mud, but we don’t really see him because we are on our way somewhere, or maybe he makes us uncomfortable and we are afraid to make eye contact.

In her images we have the chance to truly see the people, and the world, she photographed. We see them the way she saw them.

The chance to slow life down and truly see it, each part of it, each detail, each person, each place, each memory is what draws me to photography.

I find myself wondering why Maier didn’t want to share her art with others. We each see the world in our own way and sharing how we see the world can be both exciting and terrifying.Maybe Maier photographed what she saw so she would know she was there. Many of her images featured her in either reflection or shadowed form as if to say “I was real. I existed. You didn’t see me, but I was part of this adventure called life.”

She wanted to remember life in her own way, document it in images, instead of words.

Photography, like any art, is often selfish. We want to capture or freeze a moment in time for our own pleasure, our own benefit, our own need to interpret life somehow.

Artists document their view of life in paintings, in sketches, in photography, in the written word.

  I’ll admit that I compare myself to other photographers too often. Last week I told my brother’s wife (who incidentally has her own blog called Dispatches from the Northern Outpost), that I was submitting to a photography magazine but that I felt my work wasn’t good enough.

She told me: “You have to maybe trust the other voice, not the ‘I can’t,I’m not, It isn’t possible’ voice, but the one that made you pick up a camera in the first place.”

Sometimes that voice is drowned out by the screams of doubt, or the voice of some other photographer or artist.

I’m finding myself struggling to hear my own voice most days and the prominance of social media makes the struggle even harder.

This next month I plan to turn down the volume on the other voices and raise my own voice again.

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“I have heard other photographers say things like, ‘I went to photography school and I don’t know what to shoot because when I shoot something I mentally compare my image to so and so or so and so,’ And finally they feel so weighted down by references that it hinders their photographic practices. I don’t have any photographic influences, I don’t have any master, and I prefer to stay a good distance away from photographic culture. What matters is shooting what you feel like shooting, concentrate on that and the equipment comes second.”

Alain Laboile, photographer, France

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Find Vivian Maier’s work here: http://www.vivianmaier.com/

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A house full of love | Laceyville, PA newborn photographer

It is a house full of life, of children, but more importantly it is a house full of love.

Five children, all under the age of ten, crazy, sweet, lively, grumpy, silly, precious.

One has lipstick smeared on her top lip and mom is wondering where she got it. The boys are darting in and out of the house. The baby hasn’t slept all morning and all the children want to hold her. The second youngest is into the Halloween candy again and her hair is crazy.

It is chaotic. It is confusing. It is noisy. It is messy and fun and real.

It is perfect because it is life in a house full of love.

Thank you to the K family for allowing me to photograph your latest arrival. She’s the perfect fit for your family.

Golden leaves and fluffy coats | Week in Focus

Fall’s leaves were on the trees at the beginning of the week and on the ground by the end. We  had cooler weather and it appeared winter was on it’s way, but then we had warm weather again and as I write this we are anticipating warm weather again.
This warmth is ok with me since I am not a winter person and expect I never will be.

My kids enjoyed playing in the leaves (yep, we checked for ticks afterwards) and running without their coats in late October and November and of course there was trick-or-treating fun thrown in there.

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