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My Lens

The Art of Living

Roni Delmonico

Four years ago, I started a journey having no real idea where it would take me.  All I knew, was that my camera suddenly gave voice to the creative, artistic, deeply emotive side of me that had lain dormant since I was a small child.  It allowed me to communicate feelings I hadn't known how to speak before.  It sent me to my knees, eye level with my subject so that I might gain a clearer perspective, and then it laid me flat on my belly for two reasons: First, to slow me down to stillness by getting me off my feet, and second, to keep me from stepping on or over things I might have otherwise missed.  It taught me to look up, instead of always looking down, to look behind me as well as forward.  It helped me to recognize and truly value the smallest part of a whole, as the priceless and precious thing that it is.  It reminded me to be humble, to cry as well as I laugh, to strive for personal excellence, and to be grateful, most especially for the little, everyday, ordinary moments in life.  And it has, without a doubt, built a bridge of connection between myself and others I might not ever have had the pleasure of meeting. 

I love this quote:

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.  - Francois Auguste Rene Chateaubriand

I take a lot of pride in the projects I select, from beginning to end.  Whether I am working on a portfolio, a wedding album, a blog post, a novel, a pet portrait, a printing job, a digital painting or an entire art show... it all feels like play to me. That is the one requirement I have for myself as an artist.  I am careful in the selection of work I take on, because if it feels like all work and no play, it strips out the joy and I'm just not interested in doing that.  

This is Laker and he belonged to my pet sitter, Lissa Hirsh.  She brought me a panoramic photograph she loves of him that is now beginning to fade and curl with the passing of time and asked if I could do something with it.  Laker is gone now, which makes this image and its preservation even more important and I wanted to honor that. 

I've been told repeatedly that print is dead, particularly for photographers, and that I should move away from it because everything is now web-based.  I don't believe that and here's why. I've watched you cry when I have handed you something you can touch.  I've seen you light up over a box of greeting cards or a finished, framed piece hanging on your wall.  And honestly... these images that originate with you are the ones that mean the most of all.

Because I am not a traditional portrait, event or wedding photographer, it can sometimes be confusing to people who are new to my work, to understand what kind of jobs I'm interested in taking on.  I hope this gives you a clearer picture of the projects I like to do. In the end, I'll let you decide... if I am working or playing.;-)