2017 in review
What an amazing year 2017 was for me personally and creatively! The year started off with the most amazing gift from my husband, my Ikelite underwater camera housing! It birthed a storm of creativity for me. I thought, “I now have access to another world!” More on this later.
First I start by saying that there is no way I remembered the entire year so I had to look back on my social media posts! Yep, 40ish something…
Ok so Jan. 1st 2017 my very first post was my daughter Sara in pigtails…one of my favorites!
I was also diligently finishing up my Green Gables Revisited Series of images. I had such an amazing opportunity to photograph inside a late 1800’s historic home for this series!
And to top it off, I got to hold the exhibition of photographs inside the home with an old fashioned tea party! This took place in March. It was a wonderful turnout for a good cause to help this home Green Gables stay standing.
I was also finishing up my Majestic Roots photo series that consists of portraits of my daughter Sara in dresses made of trees that we constructed together! Exhibition to come in 2018!
A big excitement for me in Feb was after four tries, I finally got my work excepted by Tevillion Images, a high-end photo stock agency. They sell mostly to writers for book covers all around Europe! And I am happy to say I sold 2 covers in 2017!
Also sold several art prints on Saatchi Art! It is wonderful to have a platform that promotes your work to a greater audience! https://www.saatchiart.com/erikam
And also sold art prints on Citizens Atelier, another site that represents my work out of Canada https://www.citizenatelier.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Erika+Masterson If you want to purchase any of my art please contact me first!
Also in February, I received the April issue of Black and White Magazine with my series Sara’s Sojourn featured! It was a beautiful write up!
I also had several images accepted into exhibitions around the country in 2017, starting with SE Center for Photography in Greenville SC, “Beyond the selfie” my self-portrait “Dream of a Dream” on display.
Later in October, my Image “Lifeboat” from Mystery of Waters series was Co-Jurors Choice by Joyce Tennyson for The Intimate Portrait Exhibition at SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC. This was my first time going to an exhibition where I have an image displayed. I took my daughter Emily with me as my Image “Keeper” of her was also on display! I got to meet to amazing artists whom I now call friends!
This year I also started my series “Salt and Light” where I am re-creating dreams I have had. It’s been quite a challenge, as you know how “Otherworldly” dreams can be!
On a personal note, my oldest son Steven turned 18 and graduated from High School! 2 down, 2 to go!
Throughout all of this hard work, I accomplish it because of the passion that God has put within me. And I have such love and support from my family and friends! This one from my youngest son Drew. And Sara inspires me everyday with her artistic talent!
I had some wonderful accomplishments this year, one of which is my favorite and that was winning first place portrait and overall runner up in the Charles Dodgson Black and White award for my Image “Keeper”.
And around the same time I found out my series “A Message for my Daughter” was chosen as a finalist in the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards!In May I started to do some serious writing. I just sometimes feel deep things on my heart and have to express! About a year ago I was struggling with writing and prayed for God to make me a writer! I now have these spurts where my heart just flows in minutes! God is good and a keeper of his promises! I started to create self-portraits again to go along with the writing. This was quite difficult for me as I am not young anymore. But I felt it was important for me to do to come into a greater acceptance of who I am and whose I am. I am not who I am because of what I have done or not done. I am who I am because I am loved and known by God. That’s all that matters.
So in June My husband, our son Steven and I all went to Costa Rica on a surf trip! Of course I was brought along to “document” the trip with radical surf photos and sunsets! It was an extreme trip to say the least! Especially after I had my $1500 wide-angle lens stolen off the beach not 20 feet away from me!
But I still had the surf lens! Below is the last image I shot with it!
A week after our return from Costa Rica we made our way back to our favorite lake in NC. It’s such a beautiful and inspirational place for me. I also got my underwater housing wet for the first time! I did a couple of underwater shoots right behind our cabin! This was the beginning of my latest project “Mystery of Waters”. I went on to do two more shoots at the springs here in Florida. Super cold! It took me several months to finish the work/post processing. Now I have 30 images for this series! The exhibition is planned for this year as well!
In August I really felt the desire to start painting. I tried painting over 20 years ago and stunk at it! I can’t draw! Well so what did I do? I prayed again, Lord make me a painter. I told him it would take one of his miracles because I really cannot draw and know nothing about paint, brushes, anything! He began to show me a way to paint my photographs. I mean, being a photographer for 30 years gives you a lifetime of images that were my own designed ideas! Most artists struggle with their next idea, I had that part covered! I created my first portrait painting in November!
then more followed!
I am very excited about this new thing in my life that is super challenging! I love to push myself creatively and painting with oil does just that! I plan to keep painting and keep shooting new work!
My mom built a house near our family and was kind enough to give me a darkroom space! I will finally be able to develop 8×10 film with my camera Sally! I have big plans to start a portrait series this year and utilize my new space!
It was an exciting end to the year being asked to speak on the Alumni Panel at the SE Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Fl. I graduated from their program in 1990! And it’s such an honor and pleasure to be asked to speak about what I do. I have been asked to do a photography workshop there this spring! This will be my first one and I do believe that God is leading me to teach. This will get my feet wet and hopefully take away my fear! I do plan to have workshops locally in the near future!
I made a very big decision this year. Through Gods provision for our family, my husband, who knows my heart, told me if I wanted to just focus on my art and not run a portrait business, that I could do that. Well, it was very hard for me, as I have been shooting portraits for my clients for almost 20 years! I decided that I will continue to service my long time customers as long as they’ll have me! But I will stop doing regular portrait sessions for new clients. I will however do commissioned portraits for those who want my film heirloom portraits. I look forward to having more time to help my husband succeed in his business, create more art and spend more quality time with our 4 awesome kids! My husband and I just celebrated 22 years of marriage! What a blessing! God is so good! He has done all of this!
I will end this with my most inspired photo of the year to me, “Run Without Fear” These are my words for 2018! Blessings to you all!
Erika Masterson 2018