“I think of myself as a writer who photographs. Images, for me, can be considered poems, short stories or essays. And I’ve always thought the best place for my photographs was inside books of my own creation.”
– Sam Abell
Last year I discovered the joys of taking photography classes online. While life was keeping me close to home, these classes were like a lifeline to the photographic community. One of the first classes I took was an online masterclass with Sam Abell that was offered through Nobechi Creative. There have been moments and experiences along my photographic path that have changed me and my photography. That class with Sam Abell was certainly one of those experiences. Sam is not only an incredible photographer, but a gifted teacher, as well. There are people in this world who make everyone they encounter feel as if they are the most special people on the planet. Sam has that gift with people.
In February, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take my second class with Sam. This class was titled The Poetic Photo Essay. While taking the class, Sam had us create two bodies of work. In addition to an ongoing project, we were asked to choose a person or place and create a photo essay of that person or place.
I chose a place very close to my home. I have lived in the same neighborhood for most of my life since I was ten years old. Windjammer Park is a park with lake access located within my neighborhood, Tega Cay. I have so many memories from this park through the years. I remember my friend Larry and I hanging off of the monkey bars there. Through high school, I often visited the park to sort through the many things one thinks about during high school years. My son, Jeremy, was christened at Windjammer Park. Additionally, the evening after my family and I spread my father’s ashes, I went to Windjammer Park for some quiet time. That evening, I experienced and photographed one of the most spectacular sunsets I ever experienced there. I had a small canvas made of that sunset.
Here are the images I created at Windjammer Park as my essay.
I am so thankful for Sam who shares the gifts of his kindness and his photographic life with his students. I am also thankful that he led me back to this park that has held a special place in my life.