Let me say that this is an extremely personal story and I am not seeking your sympathy, nor your shock. My life ended and began again on March 28, 2010. That was the day I lost the love of my life, my partner, my lover and my best friend, Laurie Jensen. I can’t actually get into the details, as the Coroner’s report is still pending.
My story is not particularly unique, loss happens to all of us at some point in our lives. I guess the story is always in how we deal with it. I have submersed myself in my art, and between that and the kindness of the Lomography community have helped me to go on.
Laurie and I met at an art show where we were both exhibiting. She became my biggest fan and supporter. Art was central to our lives and I am going to continue the path we were on. Our plan had been to retire early and spend our time traveling, collaborating and creating art. Sadly, our only completed collaboration is the self-portrait of Laurie (above, shot with a Holga 120N). She was doing some intense personal work at the time and asked me to take some pictures to paint from. I have included a number of the studio shots I took for the project as well as the collage of shots she settled on to start her painting.
Suddenly, I was very much alone and lost. It took me some time to pick up a camera again, and longer than that before I was truly comfortable with the idea of shooting, but it has became therapy for me. I have become far more active on the Lomography site in the last year, as I want people to see my work. And you have. As a community you have lifted my spirits by visiting my home and liking what you see there and inviting me to see the world through your eyes in all of your wonderful individual homes. You have shared tips and inspiration with me. I hope I have given back in kind. I think Laurie would be truly proud of much of the work I have done. I have a deeply personal connection with each frame I shoot.
My photography has sustained me this far, and I am now starting to actually work towards some more integrated art projects. One that you will be seeing over the next year is the occasional collaboration with Laurie. We can’t work together, but I can use some of the beautiful fabric she created (she was a weaver as well as a painter and musician) to create doubles. I’ll try to make sure that each one is special on its own merit and not just for the sentimental value to me.
Advice? Tell someone you love them. Be kind to others, friends and strangers. Take a little time each day to consider how lucky you are. Buy and shoot film. And most important of all, have fun and cherish every day as they are each precious.