May 9, 2022
This week was one filled with friends, good food, inspiring art and quiet moments where life seemed just a little surreal. Bare with me on this little week’s version of thoughts, photos and recaps, because there’s simply a lot I want to never forget.
Walking around the Louvre this week was like a massive jug of glorious water after a drought. I had a billion thoughts and a billion ideas surface while other ideas and expectations took to the backstage. My favorite section of the museum was Richelieu, a collection of statues that fill the white-walled space. Seeing the cracks in the sculptures, scattered and splotched sections of granite, and chopped limbs taught me that I want to make art that shows flaws, and real life. I want to embrace moments of rawness in life, and be unafraid to photograph them for myself.
Another aspect of the sculpture room that I enjoyed was seeing two statues that were made by brothers. One was of a sun god in the act of chasing, and the other statue being chased was made later by the brother! I loved that the art world allows artists to respond to each other!! I want to do a better job of understanding the current conversations going on in my industry, and to thoughtfully respond by creating art that adds to that conversation. My “Comme La Terre” project on menstruation was a little like that!
Something I jotted down quickly while there. I was amazed at the feeling of being surrounded by so many beautiful art pieces in the Louvre, and was pondering my own view of creating art…
I want to put my fingerprints somewhere in my art, lean on the things that have always inspired me when I feel blocked, and let go of harmful expectations.
It wasn’t until this week that I realized how much pressure I’ve been putting on myself to create my “life’s best image” while here. I was walking through such a massive collection of the world’s best artists’ best images of their life. I was struck with a strong impression to use this time to soak in the inspiration that comes to me; to photograph what I feel drawn to, to experiment and be brave, but to let go of some elusive end result.
I showed Alex around Nogent and Vincennes which were two areas that I served in when I was a missionary here! It was the strangest moment of my life feeling like I was thrown back in time, but that Alex was there with me!
We stopped by the Boulangerie right by my old apartment and I ran in to see if Christoph was there– he was the boulangerie owner who during my mission would wave us over after long Sundays and shove a bag of big warm beignets into our hands as a gift. He always seemed to know when our hardest days were. So I ran in, and he was still there!! We chatted and caught up, and as we went to buy some beignets for the memories he offered them on the house. It brought tears to my eyes to be reconnected with a dear friend that I missed.
Lillie and Jordan, my two dear friends came visiting and it was so fun going out to dinner with them to Procope, and going to church Sunday. The friday dinner we had was amazing! Alex got the Beef Tartar, I got the Coq Au Vin, and as we left the Eiffel Tower was glittering. Magique quoi.
Alex came home from his run this week carrying a 20lb bag of bocce balls! Haha! He’s been obsessing over playing Pétanque together so I spent a relaxing afternoon crushing his booty at the game. Apparently, if you lose the game 0-13 you have to kiss old Fanny’s bare bottom…something I’ll never let him escape. Please let me know if you know of any willing Fanny’s, thank you.
Being here with Alex has been really special. I’ve felt the world stop and have internalized how special this all is. These spring internship months of learning from Céline, soaking in the inspiration of this country, and having time away, is such a luxury that we are really fortunate to be able to be blessed with right now.
I’m in the right place with the right people for me now. Céline captured this image after we had finished up an engagement session in the city, and I think it shows perfectly how comfortable she makes me feel, and just how happy my soul is right now.
We’ve talked a lot about life beyond just photography business, and I’ve admired her insight on serving through imagery, and recognizing the honor of being a part of others’ lives. I’m starting to see my camera less as a machine, and more as a method of speaking the thoughts in my heart. I’m learning to value my set of eyes and the perspective I can offer this world.
And so it goes, until next week my friends!
Xo, Alexa Ditto