Traveling on the T

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-9

There is an unspoken rule when traveling on public transportation: keep to yourself and keep quiet. I’ve lived in smaller communities for the majority of my life (Burlington, VT and Saratoga Springs, NY) and I’ve found that people look each other in the eye more often in these small communities. Whenever I’m in a big city, I feel the lack of engagement like fresh snow, everything is covered in a thin layer of concealment, but concealment that could easily be brushed away. I decided I’d try an experiment and break the silent rule. I approached people waiting for the T or in transit and asked them if I could take their portrait.

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-2

I would guess about 50% of the people said yes, and those who declined were very nice about saying no. Actually, I went into this expecting much worse. Of those who said yes, I could tell that some were uncomfortable in front of the camera while others were very relaxed.

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-3

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-5

I love these girls – they were really funny!

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-8

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-17

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-18

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-21

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-16

The image below is one of my favorite photographs from this day. Something about her pose and gaze felt very familiar. Mostly I love that she is oblivious to the young girl in the background who is covered in blotches of colored powder from the Holi festival that was happening nearby – there is always something going on in big cities.

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-13

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-23

02202014-Feb20-JuliaLuckettPhotography-1

03082014-March8-JuliaLuckettPhotography-30

What amazed me was once I had engaged with someone (and proved to them that I was not crazy), people were very kind, real and funny! It’s a little magical – the transition between seeing a person go from completely in their own world to smiling and chatting with me.

02202014-Feb20-JuliaLuckettPhotography-2

02202014-Feb20-JuliaLuckettPhotography-5

I’m sending out a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who let me spend a little time with them, you were all so kind to let me take a portrait. If you like the image of yourself, feel free to use it for social media or anything personal, just please credit me or if you are on facebook you can tag my facebook page.

#Paradise

01222014-Paradise-JuliaLuckettPhotography-12

We live in a time when we have the ability to document almost every aspect of our lives, but when does the documentation become more important than participation? I’ve always been someone who processes through various medias – I’ve even kept a journal since I was 12 (some of that should never be read again, wow was I annoying) – but as smart phones have become dominant, it seems like people sometimes hide behind their documentation to avoid having a connection. As a photographer, I am very aware of the documenting and image-making I conduct in my life. The idea of bringing my camera with me everywhere is very tempting, but if I bring my camera I know that, at some point, I will turn my focus to making an image rather than being present. Depending on the event, I usually prefer to just enjoy the moment and leave the distraction at home. For this reason, I find it frustrating when I am hanging out with someone and they are hanging out with their phone. My boyfriend and I have a no phones during meal time rule, and this extends to our guests. When we are having friends over for dinner and tell them about our no phone rule, most are relieved, now they have an excuse to set it aside, but others really seem to be bothered. It’s amazing that we have the ability to share our experiences with others and connect instantaneously, but I often observe people connecting virtually rather than participating in the tangible world.

While I was in Culebra I wanted to make an image that commented on this, as I was in a spectacularly beautiful place. I woke up before dawn and set up my camera for a sunrise shoot on the beach. For me, a perfect example of when someone is placing documentation over participation would be a scenario just like this image – a beautiful sunrise on an empty beach… and this person is taking a selfie.

01222014-Paradise-JuliaLuckettPhotography-4

01222014-Paradise-JuliaLuckettPhotography-6

This actually ended up being a really difficult photoshoot. I wanted the phone to be in focus, with the live image of myself displayed on screen, and I wanted it to look like a “selfie” picture displaying on the phone. When I’m taking self portaits I set up my focus for a specific spot, but it was very difficult to get the phone in the exact spot it needed to be and have a good “selfie” on the screen. I wanted to be in a pose that, on the phone screen looked non-chalant, but from another angle looked entirely contrived. I did enjoy the sunrise, but mostly I spent the time making everything line up properly and getting really enjoyed with trying to look peppy in the images!

Self Portrait in #Paradise #NoFilter #WhatIsItAllFor?

01222014-Paradise-JuliaLuckettPhotography-17

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-106

Floating

01212014-Water-JuliaLuckettPhotography-11

Traveling can be helpful to think outside of the box. I often find that as I am brainstorming a location for a photoshoot, I am going off a short list, and things start to gain a similar quality. I wanted to create something with an unconventional composition and a different color scheme that I normally gravitate towards. Having access to a pool while I was in Culebra provided me with a perfect opportunity to explore a different scene.

01212014-Water-JuliaLuckettPhotography-12

I suppose this self portrait has to do with floating in between different paths. I wanted to create an image that was based on a feeling, rather than a specific moment. The feeling right after you’ve made a choice, and now you are waiting for the response.

01212014-Water-JuliaLuckettPhotography-13

01212014-Water-JuliaLuckettPhotography-14

I’m torn between which image is strongest, I am leaning towards one of these last two photographs to add to Anisocoria.

01212014-Water-JuliaLuckettPhotography-15

Shooting this was difficult. I had to set up my camera and equipment very carefully, as I needed the camera to be looking almost directly down on the water, which meant my tripod was literally right next to the edge of the pool. I was also in the water during this shoot, so once I had my settings, metering, timer and knew generally where the frame was in the water, I didn’t check my images. Normally I fuss with the composition a fair amount, but I felt it would not be a great idea to do this so close to the water. I also tried using a bunch of props while in the water, but they did not work at all so I decided not to include any of those images.

Part of my inspiration to make this image came from Blue is the Warmest Color, a french film directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, staring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. An incredibly intimate love story, this is absolutely one of my favorite films on love & relationships. There are many moments that stuck with me from this film, but there is one shot, in which we observe Adele float in a blue ocean for several minutes, that felt significant to me.

blue-is-the-warmest-color

Check back soon for another photoshoot from Culebra!

Island Life for a Week

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-47

In January I escaped from the extreme cold of Boston to go to Culebra, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. It was a wonderful getaway to enjoy with my family and boyfriend, Nick. When it comes to vacation, I’ve never been one to have trouble relaxing and I actually read 3 books – ah joy! I decided to leave my camera behind most days, but I (naturally) did document some of the trip. Most of these are photos of my family and Nick and various beautiful sights. Hope you enjoy!

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-46

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-49

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-35

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-85

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-89

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-91

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-93

Normally I try to get as far away from spiders as possible, but the web was so spectacular I had to make an exception.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-33

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-34

Some other (friendlier) critters.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-72

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-87

A beautiful cemetery.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-114

The variety in the beaches is pretty amazing. Many places to explore.
012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-50

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-103

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-136

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-150

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-160

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-127

I woke up early one morning to watch the sunrise, and what a spectacular sight.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-106

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-68

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-144

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-37

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-38

One night Nick and I were driving home and we saw a beautiful full moon rising over the hill.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-40

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-43

A few other photographs I made of Nick during our trip.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-39

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-62

My grandma is a huge reader, and I caught a couple moments of her reading early in the morning.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-117

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-120

If you hiked along a certain beach there were some beautiful rock formations, and I decided to take a portrait of my mom out there.

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-153

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-154

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-168

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-173

012014-Culebra-JuliaLuckettPhotography-162

She’s pretty stunning!

Stairwell Scene

12112013-KatieRInterview-JuliaLuckettPhotography-4

I met with Katie a few weeks ago, and as we talked about some important experiences in her life. During her time at Skidmore, Katie played on the competitive soccer team and was also a studio art major. Both of these are incredibly time consuming and demanding, and trying to balance both often lead to conflict. I wanted to create an image that reflected this tension – the tension between fostering a team-oriented, physical side of herself or the internal, artistic counterpoint.

12202013-KatieStairwell-JuliaLuckettPhotography-1

After playing around with a lot of different options to shoot this scene (I was shooting in a stairwell – so more difficult that usual to set up), I finally found the right frame for Katie.

12202013-KatieStairwell-JuliaLuckettPhotography-2

12202013-KatieStairwell-JuliaLuckettPhotography-4

I feel like Katie really holds the image together, it was very difficult to place myself into the scene and not disrupt the feel of it. I decided I wanted to take up the smallest amount of space in the image – really have the image be about her. It’s an extreme composition, but I think it works for the moment I was trying to recreate and a good addition to Anisocoria.

12202013-KatieStairwell-JuliaLuckettPhotography-3

I also wanted to try a variation in a different area of the stairwell.

12202013-KatieStairwell-JuliaLuckettPhotography-5

At the moment I haven’t decided how I feel about this last one. Which is your favorite? As always, feedback is welcomed!

12202013-KatieStairwell-JuliaLuckettPhotography-6

Note: These images have no color enhancement – they are actually slightly desaturated. The photos were taken at dusk (blue light) and we were shooting inside a yellow stairwell with yellow lights. A bit extreme, but I love having opposing warm/cool tones.

Self Portrait in Nicaragua

While I was in Nicaragua working with Food 4 Farmers, I took a few self portraits in which I hoped to explore my emotions on the trip. You can read more about my expieriences in Nicaragua in blogpost 1, blogpost 2, or blogpost 3.

10142013-NicaraguaSelfPortrait-JuliaLuckettPhotography-1

10142013-NicaraguaSelfPortrait-JuliaLuckettPhotography-2

10142013-NicaraguaSelfPortrait-JuliaLuckettPhotography-4

This last image is one that I will add to Anisocoria, I feel it best describes my experience and sense of changing self.

10142013-NicaraguaSelfPortrait-JuliaLuckettPhotography-5

Kelli Connell Workshop at The Woodstock Center for Photography

Earlier this year I attended a two day workshop class at the Woodstock Center for Photography taught by Kelli Connell. I first was introduced to Kelli’s work during my undergrad studies, and her series “Double Life” blew me away. Below are a few of my favorite images from her series.

The_Conversation_Converted-copy

gettingup_flat-copy

Bubblebath_Converted_Curve-copy

kelliconnell_woodsandroses1

Kelli describes this series as,

“…an autobiographical questioning of sexuality and gender roles that shape the identity of the self in intimate relationships. Polarities of identity such as the masculine and feminine psyche, the irrational and rational self, the exterior and interior self, the motivated and resigned self are portrayed. By combining multiple photographic negatives of the same model in each image, the dualities of the self are defined by body language and clothing worn. This work is an honest representation of the duality or multiplicity of the self in regards to decisions about intimate relationships, family, belief systems and lifestyle options.”

Her work is honest, beautiful, surprising and source of an inspiration, so when I saw she was teaching a class at Woodstock I jumped at the opportunity. She was a really engaging teacher and I would absolutely suggest taking a class with her or seeing her lecture. The general format of the class revolved around meeting as group, Kelli presenting a lecture or writing exercise, discussion, photo assignments to work on that day or night, and presenting the images to the class. It was a really busy two days!

Our first assignment was to shoot with another photographer from our class. I was paired with Janice, and we spent a couple hours playing around having a blast. It was very lucky I was paired with her, we bonded very quickly and she was open to just about anything. We found this spot just off the river about a half mile from the WCP building. I think this first image is the best.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-1

I love this image as a portrait of Janice. At the time I was checking my camera and settings, and when I looked up she was in this gorgeous gesture. Just breathtaking.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-2

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-3

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-4

We also went up to a flea market and I decided to try and imitate Kelli’s series. Always a little awkward when you are in the middle of a market, but sometimes it can actually be helpful because you have to force yourself to concentrate on the moment.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-5

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-6

Our assignment that night was to take a self portrait. I normally construct scenes and carefully plan everything out – but I was lucky in my luckiness! I was camping this weekend, which I love doing, but this night there was a HUGE storm and I ran the risk of having to sleep in my car at the site due to the torrential rains. Uncomfortable for me, but great for a photoshoot.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-8

I’m actually quite happy with this image, I’m considering adding it to the series.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-7

The next day we had a couple hours to shoot, and, rather than stage another scene, I decided to do some street shooting. I recently acquired a converter for a 30mm and 120mm Canon film lenses (I shoot with a Nikon) and I spent most of the time playing around with them and watching the way people move. One quality in Kelli’s work that I find particularly impressive is their documentary feel. The images feel real, and I wanted to do some people watching to better get in touch with body language.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-11

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-12

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-13

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-14

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-15

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-16

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-10

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-18

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-19

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-20

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-21

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-22

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-17

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-23

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-9

There are two old hippies who live in Woodstock who, daily, come out into the square and talk to people and basically just spread love.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-24

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-26

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-25

I ended up spending some time with a man named Kirk, and we talked about life and art. After a little while I asked him if I could take some photos of him.

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-27

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-30

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-28

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-29

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-31

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-32

08312013-JuliaLuckettPhotography-33

I will hopefully be taking more classes at Woodstock in the coming year!

Liz & Jeremiah’s Wedding

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-82

Last June I was very lucky to second shoot for Emma Dodge Hanson for Liz & Jeremiah’s wedding in Manchester, Vermont. It was a spectacular day, and an incredibly beautiful wedding.

For me, the wedding began with the bachelors.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-1

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-2

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-3

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-4

A hilarious group of guys!

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-5

Jeremiah, the best man and his brothers set off in a gorgeous horse drawn carriage.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-6

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-7

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-8

The Ceremony.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-9

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-10

Some of the groom’s party laid the white carpet for her.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-11

First look.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-12

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-13

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-14

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-15

After the ceremony, everyone gathered outside.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-16

They had some of the most beautiful bridesmaids dresses.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-17

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-18

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-19

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-20

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-21

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-22

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-23

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-24

I traveled with the wedding party while Liz & Jeremiah lead the way.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-25

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-26

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-27

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-28

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-29

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-30

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-31

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-32

We arrived at Hildene, a beautiful estate built by Robert Todd Lincoln, the son for Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-33

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-34

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-35

Hildene has an incredible wedding team. It was my job to photograph the details of the party while cocktails continued in the garden.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-37

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-46

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-45

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-47

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-51

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-53

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-54

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-49

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-50

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-48

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-55

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-56

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-42

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-44

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-43

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-41

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-40

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-38

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-57

By the time I rejoined the party, everyone was having a wonderful time. Liz looked truly beautiful.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-58

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-59

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-60

A selection of group photos.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-63

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-62

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-61

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-64

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-65

Before we knew it, it was time for dancing, toasts and dinner.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-68

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-67

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-69

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-70

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-71

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-86

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-72

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-87

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-88

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-91

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-90

A moment with Dad.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-89

Dusk fell and cooled down the June evening.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-83

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-85

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-84

Liz and found a moment away from the crowds to relax.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-79

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-80

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-81

Inside, the party was just getting started.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-95

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-76

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-77

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-74

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-75

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-78

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-39

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-66

Cutting the beautiful, five-tier cake.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-93

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-94

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-92

Dances with the family.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-96

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-97

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-98

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-100

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-99

Everyone started to let loose – the band was too good to ignore.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-101

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-102

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-103

I love this moment.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-104

A few minutes before this happened, several of the groom’s party came over to me and told me something was going to happen and that I should make sure I was there. For some reason, I think this was not the first time they have lifted a friend over their heads!

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-105

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-106

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-107

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-108

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-109

No less than an incredible party. The big send off to the couple was a parade of sparklers and cheers.

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-110

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-111

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-112

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-114

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-113

06012013-LizJeremiah-JuliaLuckettPhotography-115

One of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended, it was a spectacular day to get married and pure New England elegance.

Portraits of Nora

While I was in Nicaragua, I became very good friends with Nora, a woman who was working at SOPPEXCCA. Marcela, Nora and I had dinner almost every night. I wanted to do a photoshoot with her where we explored some of her experiences in Nicaragua.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-532

I wanted to create an image in her bedroom because it was not a space she particularly loved, but a place she slept every night and spent a lot of time alone in.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-527

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-528

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-529

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-530

Outside her room in a small courtyard where people can hang their clothes. The colors were very complimentary. I wanted to take a classic portrait of her here with the empty clothes lines.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-537

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-535

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-536

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-534

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-533

Nora and I discussed what it had been like to be in Jinotega for the past 8 months walking around the streets. There are only a few other people in the city who are white, and, as a young attractive female, she is constantly noticed and whistled at. Even though she had been living there for so long, this can be a very alienating experience. When she is walking alone, she often listens to headphones so she doesn’t have to listen to people talking at her.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-538

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-539

I loved this location. The green walls and yellow guard window with dusk just falling, it felt like a typical location in Jinotega. I found out later that one of Nora’s friend’s son had been shot several months earlier a few homes over from our location.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-541

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-542

This is a strong portrait of Nora, it shows her toughness. She lived in Mexico for three years and was now coming to the end of her stay in Jinotega for eight months.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-544

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-545

Food 4 Farmers in Nicaragua – Part II

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-157

An important part of the work that Food 4 Farmers does for families is host information sessions. These sessions focus on seasonal hunger issues and discussions about life at home. The workshop I observed was about 4 hours long, and most of the women had traveled at least an hour to get to the class. At first the women were shy, but as the workshop progressed everyone seemed to relax.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-90

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-99

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-102

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-100

I was really impressed by how naturally Marcela connected with these women. They seemed to warm up to her very quickly.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-145

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-115

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-109

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-154

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-133

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-108

One girl came with her mother to take notes.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-111

As part of the workshop, the class split up into four groups and wrote out a list of meals they might typically have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-113

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-118

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-131

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-141

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-150

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-156

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-163

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-166

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-171

A young boy watches his mother.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-172

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-177

Women from each group presented their diet to the class. Two of the groups elected to have the young girls read to the class.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-184

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-187

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-191

By the end of the class all the women were talking, laughing and sharing stories. It seemed to be very empowering and freeing for them. After spending 4 hours with these women, I felt very comfortable talking with them in my limited Spanish, and I asked a few of the women if I could take their portraits. They said yes, and were such a pleasure to work with — and, as I mentioned last post, very much themselves in front of the camera. When it was time to say goodbye, we all hugged and kissed.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-198

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-206

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-209

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-208

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-210

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-204

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-212

A central focus of Food 4 Farmers’ work is coming up with long-term solutions to hunger that are specific to the communities they work with. This means extensive interviewing, asking in-depth questions about the lives of farmers and their families. Marcela conducted many of these interviews herself, but she also trained two men from the region to perform these interviews, so that the work could be done as “locally” as possible.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-373

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-374

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-375

Both men will be taking time off from their normal work to perform 4-6 interviews a day (each takes at least an hour) for one month.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-376

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-380

Once Marcela had taken them through training, she helped facilitate two practice interviews with farmers to monitor their skills and help guide them through the process.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-382

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-383

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-390

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-386

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-389

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-395

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-396

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-434

It was great to watch them become more confident as the interviews went on. I could tell that they were able to make a strong connection with the farmers as the interviews went on.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-399

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-406

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-417

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-415

I was able to spend a few minutes with both farmers before they had to travel home.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-436

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-438

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-441

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-442

The workshop and interviews were all facilitated at the SOPPEXCCA office, and I got to know everyone very well before I had to come back to the US. Here is a picture of the team!

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-256

Fatima is the general manager of SOPPEXCCA. She is a truly incredible woman with an amazing work ethic and commitment to her job. I wasn’t able to spend much time with her, because she is very busy. But I thought it spoke volumes about her character that her staff showed such respect for her as their leader. It was inspiring to see so many men talk about her in this way.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-215

SOPPEXCCA has a small cafe next to their office. It is probably the nicest cafe in all of Jinotega.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-95

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-96

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-98

One project that SOPPEXCCA had recently launched was a small lunch restaurant on the main road. It is run by several women who share duties in the kitchen. We stopped here several times over the course of our two weeks, and I ate some excellent meals!

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-77

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-79

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-75

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-78

The women were very friendly and warm.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-84

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-81

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-87

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-86

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-88

Another project run by SOPPEXCCA is an organic “composteria.” The co-op has created an incredibly rich compost for their coffee and cacao plants that helps replenish the soil and is much more affective than other sources. When there is extra compost, it is quickly snatched up by other coffee companies to use for their soil.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-340

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-309

Maurizio gave us a tour of the plant.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-304

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-306

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-307

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-310

They had decided to create an experiment where they tested their compost for growing vegetables. Maurizio prepared the soil and they planted their experiment.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-312

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-314

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-318

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-320

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-327

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-319

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-326

Even though the composteria is a large operation, only a few people are needed to run it. They know how to do everything, and are experts in their work.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-345

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-346

We also visited a very successful husband & wife team who grow their own coffee and sometimes have tourists stay with them. They were very proud as they showed us around their finca.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-369

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-353

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-355

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-354

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-347

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-348

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-351

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-352

I should also mention that they had several beautiful dogs.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-350

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-356

Some one-year-old coffee plants. Coffee typically takes 3 years to begin producing cherries.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-357

As we walked around his coffee farm, the dogs were never more than a step away. It’s good to know that he has company during harvest time.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-360

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-362

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-363

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-366

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-364

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-359

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-365

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-358

Marcela and I became good friends with a young woman named Nora, a Luxembourgian who was working at SOPPEXCCA. We decided to get dinner with Nora one of our first nights in Jinotega, and then proceeded to have dinner with her every single night!

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-265

We travelled around Nicaragua together, and became good friends in the process.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-25

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-24

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-26

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-27

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-74

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-30

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-71

Nora and I visited the Selva Negra coffee farm in the mountains. A German family has owned the land for the past hundred years, and in that time they built beautiful buildings, cabins for tourists and several other lovely buildings. They are known best for their beautiful hiking trails. The Vermonter in me was very happy wandering through the jungle here.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-272

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-270

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-271

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-273

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-274

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-275

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-277

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-279

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-280

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-281

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-282

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-283

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-284

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-285

We visited Matagalpa one evening, but I didn’t want to take my camera with me at night, so I don’t have many photos of the city. It seems to be a burgeoning area; new cafes, restaurants and businesses are opening all around the city.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-264

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-267

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-268

We also wandered over to San Gabriel, a city known for its two beautiful churches.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-558

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-560

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-561

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-563

Everyone jokes that the painted image of the devil in this church looks like the face of the president. It has become a photo tourist destination.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-559

Marcela, myself and Nora.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-564

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-567

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-574

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-576

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-577

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-584

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-565

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-586

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-591

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-566

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-585

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-588

During my two weeks in Jinotega, I spent a lot of time walking the streets, observing the culture. Unfortunately, candid street shooting was basically impossible. As a white female, I had to get used to being looking at everywhere I went, but with my camera it basically got rid of any chance of my being able to sit and watch a market without being noticed. I talked nearly everyone I photographed to for a few minutes before taking a picture.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-550

I was walking to SOPPEXCCA when I saw this young girl. She was so stunning in her red jacket, I stopped and asked if I could take a photo. She was very excited and posed for me in various different pop-culture inspired positions. I took this photo of her as I was asking her to try and be her natural self in front of the camera.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-286

There was a big baptism celebration in the city on one of my last days, and I was able to sneak in a few shots of the parade. The country is very religious, so these days are incredibly important to families.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-551

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-554

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-553

A young girl I met on the street.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-287

A woman who owns a local lunch restaurant. Her small parrot is always near by.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-293

Through Nora, I became friends who Idania. She is a local girl from Jinotega, and lives with her family in the city. She is a web designer and has a very warm personality. She invited Nora and me over for dinner one evening and she made us crepes – such a treat! I felt very thankful that she invited us to her home, as it is not customary to have guests over for dinner.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-546

A banana truck on its way to unload.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-549

In my last hour before leaving Jinotega I got very lucky. I had seen this horse-drawn taxi driver around the city several times, but I was never able to take his picture – and I just was able to sneak it in. These are not the best images from the trip, but they do touch on a truth of life in Nicaragua. This man spends his days riding around the city, bringing people from one place to another. In an effort to entice a few new customers, he found some Great Gatsby movie posters and attached them to the outside of the frame. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books. It is a story of the love, memory, deceit, and, above all, the classes. It is a story of those who have and those who have not – the rich and the poor. It seemed uncanny to me that he chose, among all the American movie posters, one that focuses on opulence and unnecessary abundance to the detriment of the masses.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-594

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-593

In the mountains above the city, there is a cross that overlooks the people.

102013-Nic-F4F-JuliaLuckettPhotography-520

More on Nicaragua in the next blog post!