The Writing | The Things Women Carry
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been observing. I’ve always loved writing about people and relationships, how they speak with each other and what they’re passionate about. I’m especially particular to “wants.” I love writing about people that desperately want something: marriage, children, success, true love, peace. Hearing about passion and desire is fascinating, especially when you find them through simple moments or things.
As you can imagine, I have come to love meeting someone for the first time, in the morning, surrounded by their things. What I particularly love to do, while David shoots photos, is wander a little bit around their home (in the least creepy way possible). I write a few notes about the photos on their wall, what’s on their kitchen counter, the cereal in their kitchen. Their collection of ripe tomatoes, the Andy Warhol drawing sketched on the back of a paper lunch bag, framed in her basement. The smell of incense twirling near the ceiling, the blue crayon marks on her wooden kitchen table.
Since I love to read, I usually snap a few pictures of the books on their coffee tables. Once the photo shoot is finished, I love to combine my experience with the things they carry and write about them. One women we visited had a collection of vintage copper kitchen utensils. They were displayed like little, shiny soldiers on her all white kitchen shelf. She was like those copper pots, bold and brassy. I could see my reflection in her; a little swollen and twisted, but I related to her in that warped but honest way.
Another women owned a photo called “Poolside Gossip.” I’m sure you’re aware of the classic shot, set poolside in Palm Springs, 1970. The photo was shot by Slim Aarons, who brought his tripod to the pool his friends owned and shot them sipping champagne. It soon became famous and became a defining symbol of modernism. The photo was placed in the center of her family room, a modern and sharp, white spectacle. She breezed past the painting as we walked in and I saw her in that photo. I felt her living in it from time to time, identifying with the big hair and yellow dresses that matched the yellow umbrellas. She was breezy and free.
Essentially, my stories from these women come from their words, their things, and a small dose of what I felt when I was with them. I try my very best to keep their stories only theirs, by seeking honesty in every decorated corner.