Monday, May 18, 2015

Goals and Dreams...

Since I'm traveling, I'm not able to do any cooking or Dr. Death destruction on some poor unwilling object, so I'm finding other topics on which to post (sorry for the formal sounding sentence - I just hate ending sentences with prepositions if I can avoid it).  By writing a different type of post, it allows me to get to know you better (by asking for comments) and to share a few other things about myself.

I can't recall any specific dream or goal I had when I was a child.  I don't remember wanting to be a Prima Donna Ballerina, even though I took tap and ballet lessons.  I do remember wanting to be Barbie and to marry Ken when I grew up, but I don't really classify that as a goal or dream, just a horrible nightmare from playing with too many dolls.

When I became an adult, I had a few goals and dreams, I still do.  One of them involves my photography.  I am passionate about photography, specifically Documentary Photography.  I drool over photos from the greats - Richard Avedon, Eudora Whelty, Annie Leibovitz (NOT her celebrity work), Diane Arbus, Dorthea Lange, Helen Levitt, Gordon Parks.  My list of greats is so long, I do not have enough blog pages to provide all of their names.

What I love about Documentary Photography is that you not only get to photograph a person, but you are allowed to sit down and talk to them to get their story and a glimpse into their lives.  I dream of having a gallery exhibit one day.  I've had some images exhibited in local galleries and I've been published in a magazine, the newspaper several times and have even had one of my photos used on the inside jacket of a book cover.  Some of my photos have been used for stationery cards.  But a large gallery exhibit still eludes me.  So that is a goal and a day.

One of my most unique experiences was to be able to go inside a local jail to interview and photograph 5 inmates.  These guys ranged from the occasional check kiter to two murderers.  The interviews were to take place "behind the glass", which is what I named the series.  However, the day I went to the jail, there had been a power failure, so I was able to sit in a jail cell, face-to-face, and interview these guys, one at a time.  An armed officer was right outside the door in case things got out of hand.

I tried to be nice and I was, until it came to speaking with the killers.  They had stolen someone's life and I wanted to know why ...why they felt justified in doing so.  Needless to say, I'm glad the armed officer was right outside the door.  Here is one of the shots from that day.

You are not allowed to show their faces to protect their privacy and while this is not a great photo, it is one of my favorites from that day.  I had set up the camera on the tripod and the officer stepped inside to make sure I was safe (since there were 3 alone in the room with me) and accidentally kicked my tripod just as I snapped the photo.  I named this image "Distorted".  Obviously, it is distorted, but also blurred and "broken" matches the feelings I left with that day.

So what about you?  What are some of your goals and dreams from the past, for the present or for the future?

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share one of mine!  Have a great Monday!



  1. Wow, what an experience. I have a feeling you'll realize your dream of a gallery one day. You are such a talented photographer and writer.
    Mary Alice

    1. Thank you so much Mary Alice! It was definitely an experience and one I would do again if given the opportunity! Have a great day!

  2. How brave of you to interview and photograph the prisoners. The photo reminds me of the distorted lives these men had - definitely not the goals and dreams they had as young boys. I wanted to be a teacher at a very early age and had the joy of teaching for 22 years.

    As a former English teacher avoiding the dreaded preposition missing its object begins at the verb. "So I am posting on a different type of topic," for instance. You are allowed to end with words traditionally thought to be prepositions, but are actually adverbs - mostly the WHERE words.."Where are you from?"

    1. It was an experience for sure, but I would do it again and that's exactly how I felt about these guys...distorted. One of them was so young and had received a basketball scholarship. He had gotten mixed up in a bad drug deal and shot a police officer. He is spending the rest of his life in prison.

      One of the issues I struggle with on the blog is proper sentence structure and grammar. I want to write properly, but don't want to sound formal or stuffy and want to be entertaining at the same time. I cringe at most of my sentences because I feel they are so poorly constructed. The original sentence ended with the word "on" and I just couldn't do it..LOL. I like your version MUCH, MUCH better than what I ended up with. :-) In English, diagramming sentences and finding modifiers was not my strong point. School House Rock helped me a little, but I'm still pretty hopeless!

  3. Benita,
    This is awesome. Wow what a great experience of some real life stories. I love that picture too with the blurring it some how makes you feel the experience of being in with these guys and what has become of their lives. I hope you follow this dream more. You have a gift to share.

    1. Thank you so much Kris! I do enjoy this type of photography and being able to relay a story! Have a great day! :-)

  4. Oh, I don't know about goals. I'd like to make enough money to support myself blogging so I wouldn't constantly be worried about it. I've photographed and done interviews with people in prison. Bleak and sad places, aren't they? My favorite in the documentary category would be Dorothea Lange.

    1. They are definitely bleak places. I can’t imagine having to live there the rest of my life. I felt trapped the few hours that I was there. LOVE Dorothea Lange. Her work is just stunning and draws you right into the emotion of her images!

  5. Benita,
    Childhood dreams/goals in no particular order... 1] Dance like Shirley Temple did in her movies, a vague dream with no plans to be a professional dancer... just danced up and down the stairs at home after seeing her latest movie. 2] "Invent" Coca-Cola in a big bottle... I passed a Coca-Cola bottling plant each day as I walked to grade school and would watch the processing through their large plate glass window. It was when Coca-Cola was only bottled in their original small bottle, and I loved Coca-Colas (still do), and wanted them in big bottles. I would tell my family I was going to "invent" big cokes when I grew up. They could not get me to understand one does not "invent" such a thing. 3] Be the first woman president... announced this when I was in the 6th grade. As you can see, something happened along the way, and I did not become the first woman president. But, all my life I have been independent and strong-willed about not being discriminated against because I am a female.


    1. Judith, I think those are absolutely awesome goals and dreams! And I wish you were president!! Sixth-grade? That is amazing!!

      I too am strong-willed and independent! More things we are discovering that we have in common! :-) My grandparents used to call me “hard-headed”…LOL Have a wonderful evening!

  6. Wow, Benita... that's a powerful image. I had no idea that you had done anything like that. You've had an interesting life, from what I've read so far.

    Me... hmmm.... I wanted to be a champion English horse rider. I came close with an olympic trainer that told me that I could be in the olympics after about two years of training, but I gave it up for boys when I turned 16. Not my best decision.

    After that I wanted to be a mother and a wife and I was and am. Although the wife part didn't turn out that well, since I don't have the best taste in men. Long story.

    Now I just want to restore old homes back to their former glory, which is what I've been doing. I'm living in the one I want to stay in forever now, but hopefully, one day, I'll be able to restore others to sell.

    I hope you get your dream :)

    Have fun on your trip.


    1. I think the things I’ve done look more interesting on paper than what they actually were…LOL. They were quite enjoyable and interesting at the time though and I would love to do some of the things again. Some of the others, not so much! :-) Long story here about the short time period I was a groupie and met Bon Jovi…LOL

      Ahhh, boys, the downfall of all hopes and dreams of young girls…LOL. I wanted to be an attorney during my senior year of high school, but opted for getting married right after graduation (as soon as I turned 18). Not a great decision, but it’s what it was and that dream fell by the wayside!

      I can totally see you riding. Do you ride at all now? The Olympics….WOW!

      Restoring homes is a wonderful thing to do. So many of them sit untouched and unloved and they definitely need someone like you, who has that magic touch, to bring them back to life! I hope you get your dream as well!

      Thank you so much and have a wonderful evening! Hugs!!

  7. I absolutely love your photography! So clear and crisp, gorgeous colors ( the black and white ones, too)! When I was younger I wanted to be a travel agent and travel the world. So far, I've climbed the pyramids in Mexico City,with many more trips still on my bucket list.
    Right now, my goal is to either finish school to be a Registered Dietitian, or continue on with the blog, and see where it takes me, I am really enjoying getting back into the blogging groove.
    I gave a shout out to one of your posts on my blog today, because I find your posts to be truly inspirational!
    Enjoy your Holiday weekend!
    xo Christine

    1. Christine, thank you so very much! I appreciate the shout out and the sweet words about my photography. I enjoy it so much. I just wish I had started much earlier than I did, but hey, you're never too old, right? I see Clara (recipes from The Great Depression) and see that her age didn't discourage her so why should I let mine discourage me! I'm trying to talk myself into Instagram, I'm just not there yet! Your blog is great and so enjoyable to read! And you have some rockin' photos on there also! I'm glad to know about your link party...will be checking it out! What time does it open on Tuesdays? Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday weekend! Hugs!! Benita

  8. Thank you Benita! I am truly honored to be added, and have added yours to mine! I've seriously been on Instagram for 5 months, and I can see the exposure potential for photographers to get noticed. The platform, does somewhat deter from the downloading of photographs, you can't just right click and save, but there are still ways to hack it still. If you post your photos, I would watermark them. Again, it's one of my better traffic sources, social media site wise. The #OhMyHeartsieGirlWW party starts Tues at 11 and runs until Friday at 11. Hope to see you there! If you have any questions that I can help with just message me!

    1. Christine, Thank you so much! I do appreciate your adding me. I look forward to the link party and will try to link up this week. I will be traveling to Cheyenne, WY for the week and my internet reception might be spotty for blog work. I was in Chicago all of last week so I didn’t post anything or really try to link up. Blogging is just too much for me to handle when I’m on the road. :-) I’m going to look into Instagram when I return from traveling. I learned a long time ago to always have my copyright on my photos. People used to download my portrait work off of FB and make their own changes. Annoying and frustrating when people do that! I look forward to reading more of your blog and seeing more photos. Once I get connected on Instagram, I will connect with you there also! Have a great weekend and thank you again so much!


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