Estate Jewelry - Doug Johnson

In a recent interview, the British photographer David Hurn got my attention when he said, "I always stress this point... you're not a photographer because you are interested in photography."

This is great news because I've never had much interest in photography -- or at least, most of the things that people normally associate with photography: equipment, techniques, even (to a large extent) history or the work of other photographers. My ongoing evolution from picture-taker to photographer comes more from a sharper focus on what DOES interest me -- showing how people, miraculously, make their way in the world, safely and sanely. If these small vignettes of humanity come with a dollop of empathy or humor, then all the better!




Which brings us to this week's photo from my "Back Windows" series. By most measures, it's not a particularly good photograph (grainy, off kilter, messy) and no sober curator would select it for a show but for me, it provides a glimpse of a couple's modest attempt to make a secure life in rural Maine. As with all of the images in this series, "ESTATE JEWELRY" is also a metaphor for how people present themselves to the world. Like homes, there are parts of people that are conspicuous, parts that are concealed and parts that are visible with just the slightest bit of effort. People think these parts are hidden but all you have to do is look around back and there they are!

You can read the artist statement and see the full "Back Windows" series here:

https://www.dojopico.org/Photography/Back-Windows/

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