warming trend

A Saturday afternoon spent wandering the hills of Los Feliz. Shooting midday in the harshest, brightest, most uneven light—the kind of light I always try to avoid because it’s impossible to manipulate. It falls too sharply across the skin. Everything is cast in abrupt highs and lows with nothing in between.

We don’t see each other as much as we used to or in the ways that we used to. Living in separate pockets of the same city is neither the forced proximity of a shared apartment on 59th and 1st, nor is it the pronounced absence of living on opposite sides of the world. Unlike the light, our distance now falls somewhere in the middle. We’re somehow both near and far, open and closed, together and very separate.

I keep a few friends so close they’re practically living under my skin. I’ve always been this way and I don’t think I’ll ever change. I’m sure at 85 I’ll still be making new friends and forcing them to sit with the light falling brightly across their faces, telling them to hold still or keep moving or do that again so my camera can get it just right. So I can capture the way it felt.

I photograph what I love, who I love, where I love. I photograph to hold on to a mood or a moment or an afternoon. I photograph to remember what it felt like to be twenty-nine together in California. The sudden warmth. The hills we climbed. What a terrible week she’d had. And mine, unexpectedly triumphant. How afterwards we sat in the shade eating gelato. Comfortable with the silence.

But I’m learning how to let people change. How to let them evolve and flourish in ways I might never have anticipated. I’m learning how to love the reality of a person, not the expectation. How to let them become unfamiliar, surprising, even unrecognizable. I’m learning how to let us both grow at will. Wildly. Spontaneously. And in whatever direction we please.

Katrina in Los Angeles, California // March 2014

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