Blog Archive

everyone's a VIP to someone

I have an overwhelming amount of love for the community of people around me right now. Specifically, the photographers.

I’m quite sure there are people back east that are just like the people I’ve met since living in Seattle. But I never found them, or maybe it’s that I couldn’t see — whichever Hallmark story it is, the bottom line comes down to the fact that it’s never quite felt like this. People like Christopher Nelson and Laura Musselman and Sarah Jurado, who make beautiful art, who see the lines that I see, who can identify with my specific kind of itch, who coach me and inspire me and push me to do better and bigger things just by doing what they’re driven to do. For example, this. And this. And this.

And that’s just like, this week.

I suppose the difference between my life then and my life now — because I’m just as passionate about being a better photographer then I was a bunch of years ago, if not moreso — is the tangibility of it all. I remember reading Three Imaginary Girls when I was in Connecticut and seeing Laura’s name, and clicking around in her flickr, and just being in total awe and figuring she must be famous or something. Cut to Seattle, a friend suggesting I write a love-letter to TIG, an imaginary staff meeting, and a g-chat pop-up leading to a trip to Glazer’s. I met Laura there IRL for the first time, nervous, calling the TIG-recommending bestie just before going in to talk about lenses. Because I was crapping my pants about shooting Death Cab at WaMu, and I’d never been in a proper photo pit before. (All I had was a kit lens, ps.)

And Laura wound up being a Real Girl, just like me. And then I met Chris at Bumbershoot. And Chris Burlingame introduced me to Sarah, who was all, “Take my number” the night we met, just in case of… whatever. Just in case I caught a case of being the New Girl? And the circle fleshes out, to meeting Lori and Nate and on and on and on. And it keeps getting better, and forever and ever, amen.

I read these little meditation books sometimes, it’s like a little thimbleful of someone else’s thoughts, someone sane and wise and it’s at the ready on these small pages, for when I don’t have enough things to say on the phone and the text I want to send doesn’t translate. These little sets of words on little pages set off a spark, create a new file. And the other day, the one I read was about women learning and growing into their true selves, their whole selves. How we deconstruct and reassemble, seemingly for the worse when it happens, always for the better as we come through it. And how we get stronger and more whole, and how that gets contagious, and it was very go-us for being so together now, all together now.

And down in italics on the bottom of the page, it said, “I will remember to be my true, whole self today. Another woman may need me to be.” Or something along those lines.

That really struck me, so I sat there for a bit and let it resonate. Of course, it’s not just about women, and applies to people in general. Natch.But I’m usually concerned with whether or not what I’m doing is fulfilling my needs, is being true to my core self, or what have you — sometimes selfish-good, sometimes selfish-bad. However, I don’t often stop to think that me showing up with my true and whole self at any given point could be doing anything for anyone else, that I’m being someone else’s New Girl-Victoria’s Laura Musselman. And if I did think that in the middle of all my coming and going and doing, I would probably get all tripped up and it would impact that true, whole person would cease to be. So I’m glad I don’t see it, and in the moments when I do see it, that I’m humbled by the mere thought. But really, all of us — every last one of us — showing up when it’s hard, Putting It Out There, coaching each other through… we are those people. Laura has her heroes and she’s one of mine, and then suddenly we become friends and I find myself coaching the kid with the point and shoot who knows enough to turn off his flash, and the Thing keeps going.

Now that that’s all Out There, I’m not quite sure what the point of all that was, besides a gush of emo that I felt compelled to type and share with the free internet-readin’ world. That, and I felt like quite the hub of a person-connector today, one of the benefits of which is getting to be a part of the juju that develops as a result of the connections. It’s a beautiful world to live in, with so much amazing within arm’s reach.

I’m feeling the love, it seems. I hope everyone else is too.

Viva, Sea-Tac.

Victoria Uhl