A Whimsical Journey into a Child’s Imagination

September 28, 2017
The spark that ignited the flame

As a child, I recall that I had quite a vivid imagination and endless curiosity. The line between fantasy and reality was almost indistinguishable.  The idea that I could build a real airplane from cardboard boxes, or be carried away by balloons was truly within my grasp. The ability to fly, talk to dolphins, or catch fairies was completely reasonable. Relentless pursuit of those ideas often ended up with unintended and sometimes near-catastrophic results. Regardless, it was a wonderful time.  Alas, youth fades, but I love reliving these childhood memories through my photography.

The observant may notice that the journey of many of these magical dreams curiously follows the routes of my real-life travels. I’ve been very fortunate to have assignments around the world, and I often integrate amazing landscapes from my travel assignments into these visual stories.

To date, the Dreamscapes series comprises three concepts

Starting with the concept of balloons, I explore my fascination of “lighter than air” and the possibility of flight. To an adult, it’s science. But to a child, it’s magic.  For me, it’s just a lot of fun and an excuse to play with balloons. As the series progresses, it transitions into other forms of imaginative flight.  The settings in this series depict landscapes from Turks & Caicos, Arizona, and Southern Italy.

The second concept relates to butterflies. Who’s not mesmerized by butterflies? Here the butterflies come to life right off the young girl’s dress, and fill the open air of this never-ending Texas landscape. Chasing down butterflies with a camera is challenging. But, it is also very rewarding when you know you’ve finally captured that perfect in-flight photo. As a bonus, I find butterfly museums to be very Zen.

In the third concept, I explore the wonder of endless summer nights catching fireflies. This series revolves around “lightning bugs,” a kid’s illusive playmate. This photo series takes place in a mysterious location in the south of France. I stumbled across the location of these curiously shaped trees on one of my trips to southern France. At the time, I had no idea how I’d use the photos, but it was so fascinating that I eventually created this entire series around them. My original photos of the trees was taken midday – typically, a terrible time for photos to capture mood and emotion. When I attempted to turn the scene into a night shot, it just wasn’t working. Luckily, shortly after conceiving the firefly series, another photo assignment sent me back to France, so I seized the opportunity to re-shoot the exact same trees, but this time at dusk. The effort was worth it. By the way, the kids were photographed in the studio, the stone archway was in Mexico, and the moon…. well, it was in the sky.

So, What’s Your Whimsy?

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