why a photoblog?
25 April 2003
Maybe it’s because I’ve run out of words. Or maybe it’s more that I’m storing up my words for the novel aborning. I’ve discovered a novel takes more words, more dreaming, more immersion than a screenplay, leaving me fewer for extraneous bits of writing like, say, this journal.

Maybe it’s not so much that as that words aren’t always enough. They capture much, yes, but they can’t translate directly from me to you in specific, precise images.

Or maybe it has nothing to do with words at all. A few months ago, I read someone’s online journal “about me” page. If you’re asked to describe yourself, you can talk about history and physiognomy, about life situation and future aspiration, but you also probably talk about a little something else. What you do for fun. Your hobbies.

What do I do for fun? Writing doesn’t count. That’s joy and angst both, and is a part of me and I hope my career too. Mothering doesn’t count. That too is part of my identity: frustration and tenderness, flying and drowning both. Reading? Well, sure, when I have time, but is that a hobby? Too passive. Web surfing? Even worse.

What do I love that I haven’t indulged but that continues to lurk on the edges, like a nervous suitor? Art, all kinds of fine arts. Painting and drawing and pottery and --- easiest and most omnipresent: photography. Take your camera out and click-click-click, show the world through your viewfinder, your point of view in a rectangular border.

I love it. I bring the camera along in my bag or around my neck, I grab a moment or catch a juxtaposition of building, foliage and sky and hey, there’s a picture! And I have it! In my camera!

Fun. Yeah.

So I could shoot the pictures and let them stack up on my hard drive but that’s not as much fun as sharing the best ones. Saying: “Here, look at this, isn’t this cool?” I’ve started this daily photoblog partly because I miss having a more present voice online, I think. I definitely miss having something I do just for the joy of it with no plans for the future, no hopes or fears (except “Will I have an audience?”). No serious weight on it. A simple pleasure.

I think the site will define itself over time, but I hope to mix pictures of Damian, his and our life, with images from this city I still find so very strange. In my fantasies, I’ve moved away, back to the East Coast maybe, and I look back over this portfolio of images and say to myself, “Yes, that’s LA, all right. That’s where I was. That was then.”

Because I am who I am, words will inevitably make their way into the entries. I don’t know exactly how or how much, and I don’t plan to plan it too carefully. I do, however, plan to have fun.

And no, this doesn’t mean I’m shutting down Hidden Laughter. There are, after all, things images can’t express. I will post at least one picture every day there but still come here from time to time, just as I have been, to tell more of Damian’s – and my – story.

I hope you’ll join me at my newest home, Postcards From LA.

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copyright 2003 Tamar