Charlottesville area residents are huge supporters of all things local, from groceries to art. My daughter once called home from a road trip with friends to ask:
“Tell me again, mom. Why don’t we eat at chain restaurants?”
“Because we want the money to stay local,” I told her.
“Oh, right. Thanks!”
Moving to Virginia in 1982, I brought with me a background in journalism. Newsrooms exposed me to the practice of “looking for local color”—a familiar phrase with assignment editors wanting a story or an image that would stand apart from the everyday. I have always liked the double meaning of the phrase, both as a reporter and a photographer, because it fits my habit of seeing color wherever I am.
Even before cell phones made it commonplace, I was known for always carrying a lightweight camera, first an Olympus 35mm, later a series of digital Canon Gs (I still use a Canon G16) and will admit to frequently snapping shots now with my iPhone. To me, strong photography doesn’t require fancy equipment as much as it does careful looking—seeing the patterns and colors that pop.
I enjoy thinking my photographs are traveling the world as greeting cards, but rarely identify locations for my images, because that way—like a poem—the power of interpretation is left up to the sender and receiver.