I’m honestly not sure where to start. I’m overwhelmed, in a good way. It still kind of feels like a dream that I made a ridiculously large goal to have a photography show when I didn’t even really know how to use a camera. I worked through the process in a pandemic and then turned my home into an art gallery featuring only my photographs! But, IT was all REAL! I’m so proud of myself for being willing to fail and keep going with the goal in mind. And, though I completed my goal, I really had no idea HOW it would become a reality. I only knew that I had to try lots of small things and be willing to fail at ALL of them. So, how did it turn out? AWESOME!!!!
After deciding to host the show in my home, one of the things I had to decide was HOW to display everything. The walls in my home are mostly taken so I didn’t considering using them. I finally remembered that my friend had some backdrops (faux walls) made of cedar planks. So, with the help of my friend, Tricia, we built more backdrops – 8 of them that were 54” x 8 ft high! I tasked my husband with putting them together and making sure they stayed up! He delegated to our gentle, giant son (22) and he put on hinges, hauled them in and got them set up. As a side note: those big “walls” stay up on their own with only a couple of hinges if they are at an angle. Worked perfectly!
Once the walls were up then up went the photos! Hanging all the images was super easy. Just a little measuring, some screws (and a little string but I won’t give away my secrets), a level and screwdriver AND a good friend to give opinions and be a general minion (thanks Kolette!). Getting to the hanging stage was the harder part. I purchased some inexpensive frames from IKEA (RIBBA – black) quite a while before I had actually decided how many pictures to show. When I finally went through all my images, I was surprised that there were over 30 that I actually liked and would fit with my overall theme. My original goal was 10 and I wasn’t sure I would even do that! So, I narrowed them down even more and Laurel, a new photographer friend, met with me via Skype and helped talk me through my choices. Once I had made my decisions, I did a test print for easy on letter size paper and made notes on what to change and how big to print each one. I ended up cutting one last one (the snowy mountain image) and then embarked on the tedious task of printing my final images. Once printed, I had to actually flatten them (printed on roll paper), trim and then sign each. An art dealer that also does framing cut my mats to order. I ended up needing more frames than I thought I would so I took a quick trip to IKEA to grab more and they were OUT OF STOCK!! Thankfully I really have worked on a ton of mind management because I talked myself through it quickly, bought white ones and some black spray paint on the way home. Whew! They actually turned out great even though I had to re-spray one the morning of the show.
Because I wanted to create a safe space for my guests to enjoy my show, I wanted to have a reservation system. It actually worked out great AND I would do it again even without a pandemic. It was nice to have a regular flow of people and I was able to interact more with those that attended. It was joyous to see people…in person!!! I was NOT prepared for the reactions I received. So many compliments and , most important to me, people were telling me of their connections to places I had photographed and sharing their memories. This has been my favorite part and something I didn’t expect. I will definitely treasure those memories! At the end of the show I asked my guests to share some things with me: where they feel at home, their favorite image and anything else they wanted to share. So many shared some amazing thoughts and I love the variety of images that were favorites. A big thank you to anyone that came in person!!!
I have a little more to wrap everything up. I’m including a link to a video my husband and I made that is a walk-through of the show so we could remember everything and to share with those that couldn’t join in person. https://youtu.be/UkrAUybefgQ I also had a wonderful conversation with David Johnston about the process and final outcome of my impossible goal on an episode of his podcast, The Landscape Photography Show. d
I am so full of gratitude for everyone that contributed to my success! I’m grateful to my husband for walking the path of the impossible goal with me. He sat with me while I cried, went with me on endless excursions, talked me through my crazy thoughts, ignored the money spent on camera gear and aforementioned excursions, and talked about my awesomeness all along the way. I’m grateful to my kids and friends for all the moral support, for adventuring with me and putting up with my obsession. I’m grateful to faraway friends that wanted to help and to Kolette for being able to be my impossible goal minion! I’m also grateful to the photography community for being so welcoming, encouraging and for offering help and advice. What else can I say? It’s been a completely amazing experience and I’m looking forward to my next adventures that are already in the works!!!
Sarah Marino says
Hi Brie – Congratulations on reaching your now-realized impossible goal! It is inspiring to see how you dreamed big, put in so much hard work, and came out with a beautiful and personally meaningful set of photos at the end. I also really enjoyed how you tied them all together with your writing about the theme of what “home” means to you. Well done! I look forward to seeing what your next year of photography brings.
Brie Stockwell says
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my little blog and comment! I did do a ton of hard work both physically and mentally but it was absolutely worth it. I didn’t know how it would all turn out when I started and I am very pleasantly surprised by the results. The next challenge will be to see how I can keep learning and practicing without having photography take over my life completely! I’m excited for what’s next because it feels like some new opportunities are opening up to me!