i like to photograph this way

I watch for the in-between. I capture a moment in movement. A hand gesture or hair flip or dress adjustment. Sometimes it’s the way one foot moves in front of the other. Or how the arms sway mid-strut. It’s the hair that tosses over lips as laughter pierces. It’s expanding lines from expressive eyes and a genuine smile.
To capture someone in a moment is to watch them from a distance. It’s to reveal a part of themselves from the inside. It’s rarely posed or planned or premeditated. It’s perfect and timely because people are naturally beautiful as they are in their ways. There’s no extras, no fronts, and fillers required. It’s the in-between and it’s my favorite way to capture one’s character. To see a subject, almost voyeuristic, to let them be stunning in the moment.
I like to photograph this way because, to me, it’s the only way.

stephynow

i do not speak

I do not speak for my words hit the paper, scrolling wide curves. Fingers cracking for they cannot keep speed of thoughts aching to be visualized. It’s messy, unreadable, fixed, fruity, sometimes too readable and stained bleeding letter to letter. I write. Ferocious, like feeding stray. Words barking, howling, growling. I write to release the beast within. I write to give it away. It’s not mine but it comes to me in waking moments, awkward timings, and stirs me from slumber. Something claws out, is it mine? I don’t know. Whose is it then? I cannot point. Words come out like a birth, from fleshed walls. My head spins, bony-fingered curls question the parade of perceived truths. What they say. Who is this they? I don’t know they. They are not me. They don’t live here. They don’t know me. For they is the make-up of they within. They, so clever in sneaks, sniffing out your weaknesses, your fears, and self-doubts. And this they only breeds in fear. And then pen trips on the edge of paper, there’s no finish, no room to write, so it lingers and waits as though your insides are bait. I am not bait. I’ll not flourish in such breeding grounds. Or torture myself in such a cage. For I will release. Empty myself as I am. I pull myself out. Pulling. Pulling. Rushing. And I’ll not cower, I’ll feast exactly as I am, filling myself, marking my territory in my own primal way.

stephynow

It was never mine to keep. Checking myself everyday.

It was never mine to keep.

I'm a teacher, photographer, artist, writer, soul activist, I am here to give.
Some people will be inspired to give to give. And will inspire others to give to give. Some people will take to take.

For me, I have to let go of the art itself. I have to let go of my attachment to holding on to the things that are not mine to keep. By sharing, I give wholly, giving to give. This is the purpose. This is our purpose.

I give my words because they are meant to tell a story outside of myself. When they're re-used and said, that is connection with others. I give my photos because they are meant to show a story outside of myself. When they're seen and shared, that is connection with others.

I used to be so attached to holding onto pieces of me, I would watermark my photos, ask for credit, and police my art as a part of the process. I thought holding on to ownership was a part of the art itself. I realized that it was my ego desperate for recognition and ownership, it needed to be seen. A name tag, if you will. It needed something I couldn't give. And I began to recognize a shift, a purpose in sharing myself. To give away.

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