Down by the Riverside with Beth Dickerson, Auntie Bellum’s Latest Southern Cover Girl

There are many reasons to go down to the river. Ours might be the best. We were following our muse, Beth Dickerson, to document the sixth video in Auntie Bellum Magazine’s Southern Cover Girl series.

Beth1

A man sat on an upturned bucket, fishing from the Congaree. It was early summer evening and the sun was still high. I set to cleaning my camera lens which had become clouded in the humidity. The Gervais Street Bridge stretched out above us while Beth sang from the riverbank. A chorus of cicadas joined her.

Beth2

I was secretly cursing the names of our videographers, Stephen Maluck and Jeff Driggers, (sorry, guys!) while I was stomping down the swampy path to the shore, but felt really grateful for their instincts when I was rewarded with a vision of Beth, surrounded by a golden halo of sunlight tossed from the moving stream.

BD2

Crew

Filming with Maluck, Driggers and helpful assistant, Graham Duncan.

Southern Cover Girl is an ongoing series of music videos created by Auntie Bellum Magazine to showcase the talents of female musicians and create community, in partnership with local musicians and artists.

Other artists featured in the series so far: Kate Pyritz, Kelley Douglas, Stefanie Santana, Perrin Skinner, Mollie Williamson. Check them out at the link!

Aren’t you dying to know what song she covered?! Keep an eye out for the video premiere in the next few days!!

Living Room Sessions – August

I have always fantasized about taking empowering photos of women. So many messages in our culture tell us that we aren’t enough or that we need to be fixed.  The mass media (i.e., television, magazines, billboards, movies, websites, blogs, etc.) … Continue reading

Stacey and Jenny

I was flattered to be asked to document the sweet friendship between two bohemian Americans who met in India while studying Ayurveda. Not many people can cause me to feel boring. This reunited duo had my inner goddess all revved up … Continue reading

One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy

I have spent so much time in school learning how to use equipment. That was the first really big goal. Getting to know my F-stop, shutter speed, ISO. Manual focus vs. auto. Aperture priority or program mode.

Then I was learning about chemicals in the darkroom. What to leave in and for how long varies depending on paper type, brand of film and temperature of the developer…among other things!

Once I felt pretty confident about all that, I turned my attention toward other details. What is the best way to photoshop out an “exit” sign? How on earth do you pose a model? Where did I put my lens cap this time!?

Then, I was searching for the light…

Golden Hour
golden

Blue Hour

Blue Hour

Happy Hour
Happy Hour

A hallmark of photography is that you are constantly learning. If you think you have plateaued, it is really just your brain taking a break from the Sisyphean pursuit of achievement.  You have probably just produced something really great looking, something you are really proud of. Congratulations, my erudite friend, but get back under that boulder because there is always more work to do!

I am constantly thinking about my work. When I am not shooting, I am often planning. Lately, I have been thinking more about what I am saying and, more importantly, what I want to say with my work. When I am more in control of the message I feel I will have accomplished the next big thing.

Recognizing that you have a long way to go can be a very frustrating thing.  It also means you have come pretty far.  Mastering all those other skills gives you the freedom to be an artist. At least, this is what I tell myself every time I look at someone else’s wonderful photo and know I am not quite there…yet.

I have spent some time pondering a sneaky collaborator: the influence.  Sometimes I seek it out and sometimes it pops up on me in ways I never expected.  More insidious than the artists you admire are the pieces of popular culture that actually creep into your aesthetic. I grew up in America in the 80’s. Popular culture was the aesthetic. Try as I might, I can’t “take the mall out of the girl.”

As an homage to my precarious perch on the next great foothold on this dang mountain (…to belabor the metaphor, a.k.a., The Myth of Sisyphus), I am linking you to a youtube video that is an amusing amalgamation of my influences. Before he was spit-shined into a reality star, Ozzy was just a simple Rock God in a leopard-print robe, serving up breakfast for his family and a documentary film maker. At the intersection of rock-and-roll and domesticity. Suburban artist. Complete failure at normal. Scrambling eggs.