Elle

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Day 5 – visual diary by Theo Stanley / nyc @theo_stanley This is a portrait of a beautiful and abstract creature we call Elle Simone, age 6, our second daughter, and another amazing subject. I am constantly intrigued by the other worldly imagination and creativity in this slightly feral, always entertaining child. I consider my family an evolving body of work, not only as a document of their childhood, but in photos that also speak to complex abstractness of childhood as innocence marches towards awareness. These personal and intimate images also act as source and inspiration for ideas that I apply elsewhere. Your window to this nutter is the hashtag #ellesimoney

Catskills

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Day 5 – visual diary by Theo Stanley / nyc @theo_stanley Morning light and subtle color describe the gentle beauty of New York state’s Catskills park. I grew up in the high elevation arid mountains of the state of Montana, which has dramatic scale, and is severe and temperamental, so this softness and intimacy of the Catskill watershed region was a new experience to me in moving to New York State. The moistness creates beautiful fog and atmospheric effects for light, and I will get up early to motorcycle through new routes as way to continue exploring the area. It is important for me raising 4 young ladies that they know how to have one foot in the natural world, to help balance their nyc reality, and in this way this region serves as medicine for our family keeping ourselves centered and in the right spirit as we careen through nyc’s dynamic complexity. This area is just two hours north of the city, and is the delivery source for nyc’s drinking water. I have created a hashtag for Catskills moments as I continue to explore this area, #catskillsnarrative Hope you enjoy and find an ounce of tranquility this weekend morn.

White fance

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Day 4 – visual diary by Theo Stanley / NYC @theo_stanley Images can have a visceral affect on my body. We are now bombarded by imagery, and counter-intuitively, it has not been a numbing experience for me, but rather one of greater sensitivity, with further awareness of the consequences as our mind and body receive the images and digest them in some way. I am aware of this penalty when viewing difficult but important bodies of photographic work, or difficult films. As thresholds of violence and trauma continue to get pushed and explored in photojournalism, art making and cinema, we tread deeper into corners of the psyche, and its ability to rebound, and for better or worse will understand the impact of weighted truth and awareness of the staggering potential for both light and darkness in human nature. I raise this thought to try and initiate dialogue with this community about the sensitivity to images amidst the barrage of imagery that is our modern world. It seems important to protect that sensitivity and discernment, now more than ever. Not protection by hiding, but protection by elevating our empathy in the act of seeing, and communicating, and being self aware. In my humble opinion this helps to meet the challenge for image makers to find their authentic voice in the midst of a cacophony, and also be responsible for what they put into the world. It is certainly not always about beauty, but images that can hold some fragment of truth, irony, or mirror that takes us out of our perspective, and makes us think, and challenges our supposed security. Have others experienced this re sensitizing rather than numbing?

Nova

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Day 4 – visual diary by Theo Stanley / Nyc @theo_stanley I wanted to share a portrait of Nova @_noviart at 13 years old, my eldest child, and one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I should choose my words carefully though, as I have 4 daughters ️, that we may see some more of in the next days as travels will bring this diary north of nyc into the catskill mountains for some reset time. I may be a bit biased, but you don’t have to look far into the hashtags #novafiona and #sharingnovasworld to see that Nova is a special beauty, and a talented artist and musician. This portrait was shot under the highway near our home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and I included my shadow in the image as a reflection of self. #theostanleyself

Bridge

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Day 4 – visual diary by Theo Stanley / NYC @theo_stanley It’s interesting how images resonate differently in time, as the signifiers and political landscape change, not always for the better. Nyc is a city that points to everywhere in the world, and I love that about its visual narrative. Here, two women stand both iconic and in timely political contrast to another city icon. #nycnarrative

Red