trust the process / by adriana monsalve

I'm unsure what I'm writing because I'm unsure what I'm thinking.  I'm unsure what I'm thinking because I'm unsure what it's about.  I'm unsure what it's about because it's just the beginning.

I'm still new at this.  I've told stories with image and text, just text and just image but every time the process is new.  

I tend to think that the best way for me to do a project is to do the research first, then get the access, and then go shoot and interview and be inside. Then, after all that living and loving, i can come back home - wherever home may be at the moment - and edit and post process my images.  Then, finally I write.  The writing comes quick; a lot quicker than me.  I rarely know what is to come but somehow it flows. It flows from my unclear thoughts to my hurried fingers and down onto this white that magically fills with black.  

Im beginning to think that there is no wrong way to start a project.  I know that everyone does things differently but I guess I want myself to stick to one process, one way, one artistic routine because if its worked before than it should work again, right?

Unfortunately, I'm no good at routine.  So although in the depths of me I know what works for me, it does not seem to matter.  Because this brain inside this head will  wander off of straight paths and stumble into muddy waters and sometimes wild flowers.  It does not matter which comes first for they will both be examined.  They will both be experienced until they are my own observations, my own feelings and my own story.  

Last week I started a new project.  My research was close to none, my access was at 100%, and as for the images; I had been seeing them in my head for the past month.  It feels strange to chase after a story in this way because it feels less directed. Having an idea of imagery does not equate a story.  How can I tell a story if I'm unsure of what it's actually about..

Pep Bonet, is a seasoned photojournalist that works in this way.  He says you have to let the story tell itself.  Pep says, you should not go into a situation with ideas or else it messes up what is already there.  This works for him, it always has and it probably always will. When I first discovered photojournalism, I fell in love with him.  From his sense of improvisation to his gritty black and whites to his long Latin hair... He was everything I wanted to be at the age of 23.  Silly or not, I was attracted to all that freedom. 

At the age of 30, I know that this works for Pep and sometimes it works for me too.  I'm hoping this new project is one of those times..

Ill be in New York quite a bit this summer documenting the life and times of Michaela Angela Davis.  Excitement runs over and seeps inside my bones.  I do not take for granted time spent in the presence of a hero and what is quickly turning into a mentor.  She is dope and fly and a joy to photograph, but thats just the surface.  I have a slight idea of what this story could possibly be if I do it right.  But then again, what is right?  My slight idea will sit in silence.  It is after all, just the beginning..

June 2, 2014:  Profiling on 47th

June 2, 2014: Profiling on 47th