This Thursday, my wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Teegan’s photography at the opening of an exhibit titled Unguarded held at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. The exhibit covers the work of the photography, written word, audio and multimedia created by the students at Salt during the past semester. It is the culmination of 15 intensive weeks of work going out into Maine to document various projects and people. Teegan’s projects included documenting a team of high school students competing in Maine’s Science Olympiad, students working the oyster hatchery at the Herring Gut Learning Center and a working goat farm.
The opening included multimedia presentations of the work done by a number of the students; these presentations were collaborations between the audio and visual branches of Salt’s students, where the visual is videography or photography. Each of these presentations was a short documentary on the topic that they covered, which ranged from a mustache pageant to a jazz singer and pigeon racing. It was delightful to see the quality of the work produced by all the students in such a short timeframe.
The exhibit will run through July 15 and can be seen at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, 561 Congress Street, Portland, ME; gallery hours are 12-4:30 Tuesday – Friday.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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One thought on “Unguarded in Portland, ME”
What a wonderful opportunity for your daughter Teegan! Congratulations to both Teegan…and to you too!