Emily Schultz : September 2015

13 September 2015

A Very Special Birthday {Yakima, WA}

I've been digging deep lately to define the things I  truly value in life. It's been a hard road so far and I'm not anywhere near the end. It's really made me reevaluate where I am investing my time and energy and how I can do better in the future.

As today is Grandparents day (at least according to Facebook), I thought I'd share one of the most amazing relationships I've ever had. To be honest it's really hard to write this and it was really hard to edit these images.  For me, watching someone slip away with Alzheimer's and dementia is an odd place to find myself. The person is still physically here but the first time I truly realized that she no longer knew who I was, was one of the most heart wrenching experiences.  I grieve, not for the loss of life but for the loss of shared experiences and also for those experiences that will never happen.

This is where I am with my granny.  She is still with us but I'm grieving for the relationship I lost. It hurts. It is hard to not share my memories with her, but thankfully she nurtured an amazing family who will share them with me. With eight children and numerous grandchildren there are plenty of memories, stories, and laughter to share.  You can see the beautiful spirit she was and still is, because it shows up everyday in the people she loved. That truly is a legacy worth leaving. I hope someday I can leave such an amazing and inspiring love instilled in my family. A legacy that causes them to still gather for holidays. To put aside the hurt and pain, even for a day, and celebrate. To celebrate not just the occasion, but us as a family. We are an anomaly in this every changing world. We are a family who still values our family connection and heritage and that is worth celebrating.  

So here's to you Gene Grace Hull. Thank you for the love you poured into our lives. Thank you for the stories. Thank you for the amazing experiences that will never fade away. Thank you for the amazing people I am blessed to call family. I only wish I would have told you sooner.

We celebrated her birthday in May, but it has taken me this long to work up the courage to look at these images. I'm glad I finally did.  If there is one thing I would have done different it would be to capture more of the people she loved.

PS this is me with my granny. I handed my camera to my dad to take a quick picture of us.

08 September 2015

Beach Haven Driftwood

I've spent hours of my life walking on the driftwood down the beach, laughing and talking with friends, watching the waves crash against the shore, listening to the wind whispering through the cedars and noticing the texture of the pieces of wood beneath my feet. Each one is different, they have individuality and personality. Some are happy and light, some are dark and brooding. It's subtle but it's there,

I've had this project in the back of my mind for several years now. I wanted to document the driftwood. It is ever changing, next time it will be different. Worn a bit more by the surf, or washed away completely.  I could have spent hours photographing the driftwood as I have spent walking on it, but I had children clamoring for me to put away my camera and play.

05 September 2015

Confessions of a Photographer

I have something to confess. I'm horrible at getting pictures printed. I have thousands of images of quietly lurking on my hard-drive, just dying for the chance to be printed. I always tell myself next month I will send them off to the lab. Next month comes, slowly fades into the next and they are still there waiting.  

I know I've mentioned my love of film and how I love the quality and feel of the images. However, another reason I am so enamored with it, is that I can't see the pictures until I send it to the lab. When I do send it, there's also this nifty little box on the order form that asks me if I want prints. Super simple to check yes.  Of course I want prints. Who doesn't want a tangible object of an intangible adventure. But guess what I also get the digital files. The combination of the two is something that I've really come to appreciate. The jpegs aren't there nagging me to be printed. I don't feel guilty for having only digital copies. 

I understand why everyone wants digital. I really do. I love sharing my pictures on Instagram and Facebook. I want every one to see how cute my kids are (I'm a proud mama after all). I haven't been offering anything digital in my collections, because I so badly want you to have prints. For you, yes, but also for the future generations. Technology changes so fast. USB drives that work today may not work in 20 years. Heck it might not work in 5.  For some reason I got it in my head that there wasn't room for digital anything. ever. at all. 

After coming to terms with my love of both print and digital, I'm working on a way to compromise the photographer in my head with the mama of my heart. I want you to have the best of both worlds. Something to share in the here and now and something for the future. I'm not sure how that's going look quite yet. It's still in the planning stages, but I just wanted you to know that I understand.

I shot these pictures of my children this summer at my favorite place in the world, Beach Haven (you can read about it here), and on San Juan Island in the Puget Sound, on my Mamiya RZ67 proII. Yes it's film and yes I have the prints :). Maybe next month I'll get some of my thousands of jpegs printed. In the words of one of my favorite photographers, Jonathan Canlas, "Don't let your jpegs grow up to be jpegs."

Lime Kiln lighthouse
Puget Sound, Orcas island,
Children playing in the ocean
children playing in the surf
Ocean sunset, boy fishing