Monday, August 27, 2012

Face Value - A Fascinating Photography Project

Hello Dear Blog Readers! I hope you are enjoying my "Countdown to 400" blog series, where I offer a giveaway with each blog post leading up to my 400th post. Today's giveaway will be shared at the end of this blog post so keep reading - you won't be disappointed in this interesting story!

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I recently found out about a fascinating photography project through one of my knitting buddies. She participated in it and raved about her experience to me and insisted that I would love being part of this project. It's called "Face Value: Mirror Portraits" created by a local photographer named Juan Luis Garcia.

 Photography by Juan Luis Garcia - image courtesy of the artist

Now, something about the name sounded familiar and it turns out that I have, in fact, encountered Mr. Garcia's work before. A co-worker from my old job had a friend who had been to Cuba, shot many photographs there, then self published his photos and had an exhibit of his work. My dear boyfriend came along with me to see the exhibit and, though I missed seeing my co-worker and an opportunity for a introduction to the artist, I loved the images that were displayed. They were full of color and life.

My old co-worker happened to contact me at the same time I heard about the Face Value project, so I asked if the photographer was the same photographer who shot the Cuban photos and it was! I am always amazed at how small the world can often be and how connected were are more often than we are not...

 Photography by Juan Luis Garcia - images courtesy of the artist

I completed the online registration form to participate in the photography project and I got a response after a week. Since this project is starting to gain some great word of mouth, Juan Luis is receiving a lot of submissions to participate. We made an appointment for me to have my face photographed for his project. I wasn't quite sure what to expect in this photo shoot, but I was informed by Juan Luis that it would not take longer than 15 minutes...

Photography by Juan Luis Garcia - this view of the photography process for Face Value can be seen on his website

While I was driving to the photo shoot, my car began to chug and lose power! I worried that I might not make it to the photo shoot, but luckily my car made it to the destination and I made sure to park my car in a way that would allow a tow truck enough room to hitch my car should I need to be towed away. I did need to be towed but that's when I found out I left my wallet with my drivers license and AAA Club card back at home! Long story short, many kind and wonderful people helped me get my car towed to be repaired, another reminder that we are more connected than we realize...

Photography by Juan Luis Garcia - image courtesy of the artist

I met with Juan Luis Garcia and he asked me a few questions and he explained his photography project. I was intrigued by his process for creating this project and the fact that so many of us look into the mirror every day, but what, exactly, do we actually see when we see our face?? We proceeded to his studio to begin the photo shoot and this is what his photography studio looks like:

This is where Juan Luis works - it's a great, simple set-up...

The other side of the photography set-up

I sat on the stool that you see above and Juan Luis proceeded to ask me a series of questions that were quite thought-provoking, as well as meaningful. I like being challenged to think in different ways and his line of questioning did just that, so I really enjoyed the process of being photographed and interviewed at the same time.

After the photography session, I was allowed to see the images. It was pretty cool to see the results and see the subtle facial expressions that were captured. Though it may not always seem like it here on my blog, I tend to be a thinker and sometimes live in my head. I don't know if it can be seen in my face often as I go about my day, but I could see it in many of the photos. I don't have any images at this time, but when I get some, I will share some of them here.

I really enjoyed meeting Juan Luis Garcia and talking with him about his photography project, being an artist, and the difficulties of dealing with the business aspect of being an artist, which I think many of us artists and creatives struggle with. I told him about my blog and asked if I could take a picture of him in his studio and he graciously accepted...

Juan Luis Garcia - my portrait of the photographer in his creative space

Juan Luis Garcia has a FaceBook page for this project and you can follow his progression as he works toward completing 500 faces for his photography project. If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, or you plan to visit in the months ahead, sign up to be photographed HERE.

Juan Luis is starting to travel to some of the states to capture more faces for his project, but he expressed an interest in traveling to other countries to capture some international faces. If you'd like to host this wonderful photographer in your part of the world, please contact him HERE and let him know The Creative Beast sent you!

Many thanks to Juan Luis Garcia for allowing me to share images from his website and allowing me to photograph him in his studio. I know photographers are not always comfortable in front of the camera, so I am really grateful that he allowed me to photograph him...

Me with Juan Luis Garcia, an amazing photographer. I feel so lucky to have met this artist!

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Now for the winner of last weeks giveaway...once again, it seems there were only two comments, and once again, only one of them followed the rules by commenting on a word that has meaning for you so this weeks winner is Deanna! I'll be in touch to ask about your favorite colors and to get your mailing address soon. Congratulations Deanna on winning your one-of-a-kind collage cover notebook =-)

And now for today's giveaway!

I had trouble figuring out what to give away this week, especially since I wanted to tie it in with this photography post. I finally thought of something, but it was at the end of the week so it is currently a project in process. Here is a teaser sneak peek at the giveaway item:

and here is another sneek peak...

Okay, one more sneak peek...

 Take a good look at this quote - while adding some Ranger color wash spray, I managed to obscure it! =-\

It may not be as thought-provoking as Juan Luis Garcia's project, but I assure you it will have some thoughtful quotes to get you thinking when I have completed this "Reflecting Mirror". Please note that it will be up to two weeks before I send this mirror to the winner. Here is what you need to do to win this one-of-a-kind collage art "Reflecting Mirror":

Rules for entering the giveaway...

The giveaway is open to all readers from near or far
You must leave a comment to enter
Your comment will be about what you see when you look into the mirror*
Comments will close at 12pm Pacific Standard Time on Friday August 31
The winner will be announced at the end of the next blog post...which will be in approximately one week

OH! And if you want a bonus surprise goodie, follow my blog and let me know you have joined the "Tribe Of Creative Kindred Spirits"! 

Thanks for stopping by and for reading my blog! Good luck to all who enter the giveaway!

* - for instance, what I see when I look into the mirror is: a Woman, an Artist, a Latina =-)


Anonymous said...

Awesome - I'm thrilled - thank you very much Monica! Although I won't enter this time, I love your creative prompts. It certainly gave me something to think about this morning - what DO I see when I look in the mirror? I see a woman on the cusp...

Kathryn Hansen said...

i wish i could say my spirit or inner being but what i see is my sagging jaw line...ugh!!! i am okay with all the wrinkles tho...go figure!!

what an awesome project...i have to look into Juan Luis Garcia the idea of it!

humel said...

Wow, my friend - what an amazing opportunity! I found this a fascinating read, and I'm so thrilled you got to take part, yay you :)

Heidi said...

very interesting, I know when I have been looking in the mirror lately i am looking past the quick image that i usually see, and i am looking deeper and seeing much more. really an in depth time of life I believe.Great post thank you.

Niketa Calame said...

Had a great time working on your project

eightdecades said...

Hello, I saw your site on rightbrainers workshop. Thought I would take a look. I am fascinated by your projects that you engage in and invite others to do so too. Then give aways, how very good. As to the mirror, most of your guests see a female, I would see a male, so I went and looked and I saw the wall behind me, for a brief moment it reminded me of my childhood home. I think it was because my mother was a knitter and sewing and crafting lady whom I was reminded of as I saw your articles. For a brief moment I saw my mothers love from 5 decades ago. Thanks for the memory trip.