Use This 4 Great Photos

1_of_26

First Childhood Memory: 1/26 Inspired by #UseThisPhotoBook

My good friend, Nicole, gifted me a copy of Use This if You Want to Take Great Photographs: A Photo Journal by Henry Carroll for Christmas. It’s an inspiration book that includes 123 assignments to  prompt photographers who “sometimes feel a little short on ideas and inspiration.” Hello. That’s me.

For a little fun and to just get shooting again, Nicole, Charles Dube, and I have challenged each other to a 26 project: 1 shot guided by an assignment from the book every 2 weeks. I’ll be posting my results via this blog, Flickr, and Instagram. You can follow Nicole here on Instagram and Charles here on Flickr.

Our first assignment was: “Photograph your earliest memory”

Now that is a slippery task. Can you visualize your first memory? Are you sure that was your first or did another memory precede it? And if that was your first memory, is it wholly yours? Or is it a construct of stories and photographs?

I struggled with this one, trying to navigate amongst memories that I thought were mine, memories that were formed via stories of others, and memories that were formed via old photographs. In the end, I realized that my first memories aren’t visuals at all. They’re feelings. My experience of them is still strong but the visual details are fuzzy, much like a dream. This left me figuring out how to translate those feelings into visuals.

So my first memory? We lived in a rural area outside of a small seaside town in South Carolina. My parents raised chickens in our backyard. We kept them in a large, open pen and an attached, enclosed roosting area with nest compartments for them to lay eggs and rest.

As a kid, I helped with general chicken maintenance–feeding them, gathering eggs, mucking the roost, etc. Every so often my parents would slaughter one of them for dinner, chopping it’s head off with a large axe. And every time it was chicken-killing time, I would run into the house, plug my ears, and hide just inside the door, behind the refrigerator until they were done. I couldn’t bare to watch or listen. Once the ordeal was done, I’d help soak and defeather the chicken. The smell was horrific and sickening.

Start a new photog project for 2017? Drop me a note about it in the comments section below. I’d love to check it out!

 

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