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Story Time 2013 | An I'm Kristen Workshop

“stories never really end...even if the books like to pretend they do. 
stories always go on. 
they don't end on the last page, 
any more than they begin on the first page.”
cornelia funke - inskpell
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| STORYTELLING |
 the conveying of events in words, images and sounds
often by improvisation, imagination or embellishment. 
stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of 
entertainment, education, cultural preservation and to instill values. 

crucial elements of stories and storytelling include 
who is in them, where it happened, and the details of the plot.
| STORIES MUST BE TOLD |
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This spring, and also this fall, we will collect and with our hearts, stories and cameras, come to enliven and influence each other.  I suppose this is a photography workshop, but please don't be deceived or disappointed.   This is more about listening for, caring about and wanting the story.  We will watch moving pictures, read out loud, hear music, be together, be alone and take photographs.   Like the children who gather around grandpa's big chair, waiting for a tale, we will listen for the story.  We'll have a photoshoot every single day - with different people to work with and learn about.  This will be no "Follow me around, see how I posed her arm, I'm on f-stop 2.5" shoot.  This will be a "Study your subject, and figure out a way to tell everyone else what you learned about her with your camera."  

The stories are everywhere.  Every portrait shoot.  Every wedding.  Every household.  Every shop.  Every person.  They're there.  Are you looking?  We'll be looking this spring in a three-day workshop.  More details to come soon.  Very soon.
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Here's to the story about the pull-up-ed-jell-sandal-ed-flower-girl waiting to see her aunt in bridal glory.
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Here's to the wrinkles.
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Here's to the first morning of life and Edith and Meepers.
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Here's to the story about marriage, penny-pinching, good coffee and opening a shop.
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Here's to the last winter in Florida and sun that never stops.
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Here's to my own life.
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And here's to her life!
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Here's to the story of an 100-degree-wedding-day and a baby-girl becoming a bride.
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Here's to a baby girl becoming a three-year-old girl.  And here's to donuts! And ties!
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Here's to the food that helps Autumn grow!
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And here's the nights that live forever, or so.
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Here's to the story of the surprise triplets (and their fingers, and toes, and lips.)
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Here's to grandma's pearl necklace, and why she wore it everyday.  Until this day... when she gave the necklace away.
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Here's to wrinkles, again.
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Here's to the faces that know waiting, but also know joy.
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Here's to dads with their baby girls (dads who used to be little boys.)
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Here's to big best friends,
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and here's to little best friends, too.
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And here's to the story about finally finding your way home, after all you've gone through.
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Here's to the crazy ones, the elegant ones, the dancers and the thinkers...
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Here's to roaring laughter, colored ink, spins and silver bands on happy fingers.
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Here's to today and now,
and taking lots of pictures.

18 comments:

  1. bam. and bow chicka wow wow.

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  2. you literally never cease to inspire. this is so so beautiful & dangdangdang i'm so excited about it!!

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  3. Here's to you. For taking and sharing photographs so well. For inspiring young moment-capturers like me. Thanks.

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  4. oh, Kristen. this actually made me cry.
    I can't tell you how much this is coming at the perfect time.
    this has been on my heart so much.
    this is where my heart is.
    and this is something I need. very, very much.

    I love stories. I grew up on stories. I wrote stories (I have endless microsoft word documents and notebooks filled with unfinished once-upon-a-times and adventures). evenings were for jammies and time huddled together listening to dad read Fantastic Mr. Fox or the Chronicles of Narnia or Mr. Pudgins or Eragon or Danny the Champion of the World. Afternoons were for clustering on the couch, cuddled next to mom as she read Pippi Longstocking or My Father's Dragon or Besty, Tacy, and Tib.

    and as a result, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up (in fact, I would still like to, just not professional or anything). I devoured fairy tales and read weeks worth of books in days. we would come out of the library carrying stacks of books taller than we were. and we spent hours and hours of afternoons, lying on the hot slats of the deck, lounging in chairs, sipping lemonade (homemade by my dad, with just enough sugar), with books in hand. my sister and I acted out stories, we made up our own, for fun, and my friends and I illustrated tales of our own. we painstakingly wrote in the words, trying our hardest to be neat. we taped tags on pencils so we could remember which was used to color so-and-so's hair and which was the color of her dress. and we spent hours acting out our own or stories from books. we were princesses and pirates and adventurers and fairies and knights and kings and queens and peasants and moms and storekeepers and explorers and on and on.

    movie nights were my favorite nights. afternoons at grandma and grandpa's were the best, because we always ended up pulling a Disney movie from the tall shelves containing nearly every Disney film ever made (or so it seemed) along with oodles and oodles of others. snow white or sleeping beauty? the hundred and one dalmations or hercules? was it going to be cinderella or ariel? and which one? and so on. we pulled felt blankets my grandpa had sewn on the couch and ate popcorn in our little tupperware containers from a big wooden bowl holding several bags, to watch the movie.

    and then, I grew up...or at least, got older. and my stories got pushed into boxes under my bed or onto flash drives as I started saving for camera equipment and new lenses and a computer and all sorts of exciting things like that. but I WAS the kid who played pretend in middle school and spent more time writing and reading than anything else. I read my norse mythology and greek mythology books for fun (ooh. still love those). my mom had to tell me to stop reading ahead in my school books (buuut...everyone knows that never happens. ;)

    but as growing up goes, I'm still growing up and don't think that I will truly ever.
    I want to always have that child-like wonder that I lived in when I dog-eared pages and stayed up late (11 o'clock! oh my! so late for an eight year old ;)) reading The Hobbit or Princess Academy or Anne of Green Gables (with an e, of course. Oh, I loved Anne. I love Anne. I went through a phase of writing like L. M. Montgomery, as emphasized with frequent uses of "lovely" and long descriptions).

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  5. and I want that wonder in my images.
    because there is so much wonder IN life. that we don't stop to see or forget how to see.
    first kisses. first bandaids. the groom's face as he sees his bride for the first time. traditions rich in history like going to the lake every year and getting pizza at the same place and sitting in the same spot for fireworks each year. silly things like pomegranates and oranges in stockings come Christmastime. crying over books. making dad's "famous" spaghetti or chocolate chip cookies. getting your hair done in fluttery excitement with your maid of honor. memories tossed around come Thanksgiving, laughing over things your mom or uncle or aunts did over the the table your grandpa built. first experiences. bad haircuts. the first time out with a friend driving, feeling so young yet so grown up at the same time.

    life is so RICH.
    and it's so rich with stories.
    "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." - Muriel Rukeyser
    "Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see." - C.S. Lewis
    "There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland." - L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

    stories are part of the fabric of who I am. I think growing up in an environment so rich in stories (and being home schooled, having ample time to read and write and pursue creative things) helped to solidify that. and I will always be a storyteller. it's in my blood (or so I like to think).

    but I want to learn to tell stories better.
    truer. deeper. magically-er. whimsically-er. richer. wonder-filled-er. honester.
    and so while my heart has changed to tell true stories of real life instead of once-upon-a-time, I never want to lose that magic of just one more chapter, one more page. and I want to convey that in my photography. storytelling is so rich and wonderful and I want to get better with that.
    because that's where my heart truly is for my photography.

    and so, this is a terribly long comment (probably with tons of grammatical errors, because I'm sitting on the couch with a box of tissues and a sore throat), but I'm so incredibly excited about this and want so terribly bad to be a part of it and this is so important to me. :) also, I watched Peter Pan (2003) today again, and was struck with how much wonder and whimsy and magic there is in that story. and I want so deeply to convey that same depth and heart and wonder in my own images.

    to tell better, deeper, richer, truer, honester, more-wonder-filled stories.
    little things that make up the deeper story of our lives.
    stories of people.
    stories that truly MATTER.

    sooooo….I feel the need to throw in a few exclamation marks here to convey my excitement... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    because really, I'm pretty much freaking out about this. so. very. much. :)

    love,
    hannah

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  6. so thank YOUUUU kristen for telling those stories that matter. and having that heart and dedication and whimsy. and for putting together something so beautiful and wonderful and exciting as this. :) you inspire me tons and tons and encourage me more than you know and ahhhh. ajelajehakshdkf. good 'ol random typing to convey my excitement. hehe. :)

    sorry that this turned into a book. yikes. haha. :)

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  7. Ah, I love this, Kristen! Such a beautiful purpose. I always notice that my absolute favorite images from a session of mine (and other photographers) are the candids. The ones where the bride forgets her vows & asks the pastor to repeat them, where the dad over exaggerates his expression which makes the whole family burst into laughter, where a stranger suddenly walks up & mumbles gibberish & causes a beautiful young lady to laugh incessantly, where the bride gets teary-eyed as she steps in front of the full length mirror, where the bride & groom share a special dance (just the two of them + the photographers) and have that spark of love & emotion in their eyes as they gaze at each other, where they cut the cake & the bride's bite of it crumbles from her mouth to the ground, where toddlers have an innocent crush on one another and wrap arms around each other, where a freckly faced girl smiles in awe of her baby doll, where one dances in the rain while closing her eyes, where one BFF jumps on the other BFF's back & they almost fall over, where a dancer gracefully leaps in the air as she concentrates on her movement.

    Those kinds of stories.

    I look incredibly forward to hearing more about this storytelling shindig. Thank YOU for wanting to help others bring out the real, raw, authentic story in each photograph.

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  8. This excites me. :-)

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  9. Have my dreams come true?? I'm staying tuned ;)

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  10. Wonderful. You truly do share stories through art :)

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  11. Well, I surely do hope you know how inspirational you are, Kristen. I'm not even a photographer, but I got excited about your workshop. :) Thanks for telling people's stories in ways that they will cherish forever! Love this post SO much.

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  12. Love this. You don't even know how excited this made me.
    Looking forward to more info!
    Emily

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  13. This is amazing! Absolutely amAZing. I love looking at taking pictures as writing a story! :D This post also weaves together in a REALLY cool way! <3 LOVE IT.

    -eliza berry

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  14. I'm sitting here, speechless. Yours and Hannah's words come straight from the heart and soul of every single person out there pursuing creative arts. I'm excited to see what you have in store!

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  15. I didn't know this was a post!!! I just saw the announcement poster!! Whaaat midnight goodies I have just discovered!! Love this. Love you :)

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  16. Story telling is something I've been working on recently. I've been looking for a word to describe it and it finally occurred to me today, time travel. I don't want to show someone a precious moment in time, I want them to feel it. I want them to hear the laughter and giggles, to feel the warm sunshine and the breeze pulling at their hair, I want them to smell the coffee and spices in the cafe or the new baby smell, to laugh when the subject is laughing, to hear to the music that is playing the background. My goal is to bring them into the moment.

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  17. totally excited for this. i'm in your area, and your idea about storytelling just enchants me! looking forward to more details :)

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Oh, you've made my day! Thank you for the thoughts and words!