9.11.2009

i am

i am
i had a revelation today. this may come as a surprise to you, but today i realized i am a photographer. what? i know. why today? let me back up a bit. remember last week how i was so excited to find out that my friend prentiss is a photographer? and how i talked his ear off about lights, and studio space, and all kinds of other nerdy photography things. well, as what usually happens when i start talking about cameras and whatnot, i get "the question". you know the question. everyone get's it. "oh! so are you a (fill in the blank)?". some lady overheard us talking and sure enough, she asked the question. and i hemmed and hawed like i usually do. oh, not really. well, yeah kind of. i do it on the side, i really like photography etc etc. she looked at me like i had a camera growing out of my forehead, and i somewhat awkwardly returned to my conversation with prentiss. we talked some more, and i said something about having been published in a polaroid book. see! he said, don't do that. don't do what, i said? don't answer the question like that, you are a photographer. oh, i said. i stewed on it for a while, and a few days later had another one of my reoccurring conversations with david, you know the "what am i even doing?" one. i get so worked up about defining myself or my style or my work or whatever that i forget one very important piece of the puzzle. nobody, and i mean nobody is defined by one single, solitary thing. i am a million things. i am a mother. i am a wife. i am an archaeologist. i am petite. i am sassy. i am a klutz. we all are a million things. to be defined by one thing would be almost nonhuman. not to mention boring. so where am i going with all of this? well, today this arrived. i opened it up, squealed a little, and then turned over my card and saw this.
that feels good
can you read that? it says image copyright © by Hannah Huffman. that's right. it's me. it hit me like a ton of bricks. and if jenifer altman lived in kansas city, i would have run right over to her house, screamed in her ear, jumped in her lap, and given her the biggest hug ever. thank you jen so much for including me in your brain child. for asking me twice! for encouraging me when i was skeptical that i could do it. and of course, i have to thank david for giving me the kick in the pants i need when i get all wishy washy. last summer when john asked me if i wanted to have my first show, my head was spinning. what?? yes, but how?? and david ever so dryly says, stop freaking out and just do it. oh. ok. he's like my own personal tim gunn. so will i be the next annie leibovitz? no. i doubt it. will i take photographs for the rest of my life for fun? yes. will i take photographs for other people who want to pay me? hopefully. why? because i am a photographer. and a million other things.

42 Comments:

Blogger beth said...

glad you finally realised this. :) as you indeed _are_.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

yes, you are. and one of my favorites, too. bravo, hannah.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

© Hannah Huffman, you rule. And YES you most certainly are a photographer, and don't you forget it. You should practice telling yourself this everyday in front of a mirror. ;) xx

6:53 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

I felt exactly the same way when I opened mine, Hannah.
In fact, only yesterday I took mine into work to show my colleagues and I couldn't believe the response they got.
Everyone was so excited for me.
I cannot wait to get over to Vancouver in a week, so I can actually see them on a bookstore shelf. I think I may literally pee my pants when that happens.

6:58 PM  
Blogger hbynoe said...

you make beautiful images. congrats and own it girl it is all you

7:07 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

i don't usually comment, but love your blog and your photography. what an amazing post. how crazy is it that i've never thought about the fact that i tend to identify myself as just one or two things? i believe you have just opened my world a little bit and that feels really good.

7:07 PM  
Blogger UNIFORM Studio said...

I think of all the hats you wear, sassy is my favorite:)
you are definitely a Photographer with a capitol P.
and I think I learned something here today too. thank you.

ps -please do not send me any more shoe links. ken thanks you.

7:15 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

hell yeah, you're a photographer. and one of my favorites too.

7:28 PM  
Blogger house on hill road said...

you are one mighty photographer, hannah. the title fits you well.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous abbyglassenberg said...

Yeah! And I am an artist. It only took 4 years and a book contract for me to say it, but here I am.

Here's to finally saying it out loud!

7:40 PM  
Blogger beth said...

I love this post...
and I feel the same way you do...and hem and haw the same way you do when someone asks...
"the question"
but now that I'm getting paid, I guess it's time for me to buck up and say...
"why yes, I am a photographer

congrats :)

8:09 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

duh! thank you for this post. because i have the "what am i" and "what am i doing" feelings all the time. we do not need to be, nor will we ever, be just one thing. and adding more things to that list. especially Photographer (with a capital P, as martha said) is an excellent thing indeed. you rock, hannah huffman (i would do the little copyright symbol there, but i don't know how).

8:18 PM  
OpenID ButtonsMagee said...

Well of course you are lady! And one of my favorites. But oh, that feeling, when you know it yourself...that is the best one. I think many hats all piled up on top of the head looks quite jaunty.

8:49 PM  
Blogger RW said...

this is an awesome post.
really
inspiring and
uplifting
and encouraging
and finding your own way and if you can do it then surely so can I.

thanks

10:08 PM  
Anonymous hanne said...

© Hannah Huffman!
a true favourite.

11:20 PM  
Blogger claire said...

i am just totally crazy about you © hannah huffman. you are so many things, but above all, you are awesome.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Mathias said...

Aaah, _the_ revelation. I haven't had it yet, not really in the way of an epiphany. Maybe, one day.

But until then I'm gonna bask in the beauty of your photos, Hannah.

Also, you forgot that you're awesome. No need to be shy about that fact.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Emma Bradshaw said...

Hannah, you are so sweet! yes you are, the rest of us have suspected this for quite a while you know! now enjoy it... Emma x

p.s. I feel exactly the same way and had some business cards on with photographer written on them, I somehow can't give them away, I feel like a little girl playing with them right now! Maybe tomorrow?

2:15 AM  
Blogger Astrid said...

Yes! And you are great!

5:20 AM  
Blogger A. said...

well said, hannah. i've had the same identity freak-out as of late. it is ongoing as i get older, i think.

and i am picking up those note cards--they are awesome!

amy b.

5:27 AM  
Blogger shari said...

hannah! excited for you on so many levels...about the polaroid notes and the realization. thanks for reminding us that we are made up of many different parts. i think i needed to hear that. xo

5:42 AM  
Anonymous BF said...

i knew it all along, hannah huffman. cheers to self-discovery.

6:08 AM  
Blogger backyard*INK said...

several months ago, a young girl named Jess Hahn sent me a link to a certain flickr account and told me I should check it out "because her photo's are so amazing". I haven't stopped looking at that link since then. You most certainly are a Photographer, and a damn good one at that. Thanks for being such an inspiration, you are so good at what you do but yet so modest...maybe that's why i like you. :)

p.s. but you should still tell EVERYONE that you are.

6:33 AM  
Blogger amisha said...

this is an amazing post, hannah. you are many many things, and a photographer is definitely one of them! i'm glad that you know it.

8:41 AM  
Blogger shim + sons said...

you are awesome, hannah!!

8:45 AM  
Anonymous mon ami said...

yes, you are.

what a lovely post, thank you for sharing and congratulations.

i love chronicle books, whenever i see those little glasses i know there is loveliness ahead.

ps - i am now pondering *my* one million things

9:59 AM  
Blogger bugheart said...

congratulations!
and i agree
with shari...
thanks so much
for your
wonderful
post.

3:01 PM  
Blogger bugheart said...

congratulations!
and i agree
with shari...
thanks so much
for your
wonderful
post.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Sheri said...

love this, hannah. so important. so good. to be reminded of our complexity. it makes us so much more delicious.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

you are such a photographer. such. a photographer. (and isn't it something when that light bulb goes off? like, how could i not have seen that before this moment?) congratulations to you!

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I love this post so much.
And to me, you are a daily inspiration!

Love from Switzerland

4:06 AM  
Anonymous jen a said...

oh i adore you hannah. and you are welcome to jump in my lap whenever you like.

you ARE a photographer. an amazing one. and no, you will not be the next annie - you will be hannah huffman - one thousand times better. xoox

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

This is AWESOME.

SO encouraging to me. :)

2:23 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Such a great post. I feel the same way...I have a camera in my hands every day, yet I don't want to claim the title. I always look around and see so many people who are better than I. Thank you for showing me that even a brilliant photographer like you can have her doubts!

3:20 PM  
Anonymous blair said...

and we've known all along...

and we're proud of you

xo

10:17 PM  
Blogger Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

this is inspiring. i have a hard time with that, too. being called an artist. and photographer...i'm not ready for that distinction yet. though i hope to be soon. and there is no question of you being a photographer...you are amazing!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

So can I start calling David "Tim Gunn" from now on?

congrats on the cards, I think I'll order myself a box.

11:32 AM  
Blogger amy chicken said...

yes. you are a photographer. and an amazing woman. bravo.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous amanda said...

Damn, this is gorgeous Hannah. You are one amazing, inspiring and beautiful photographer. Indeed. (Add writer to that list, too!)

7:42 PM  
Blogger famapa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Amy Middaugh said...

ummm...hell yeah you are!

you know i lurk around and i was just peeking in on you again. yes, your photographs are beautiful. and yes, i would pay you to take photographs anytime.

3:33 PM  
Blogger jen said...

love this post, hannah. you are a brilliant photographer. i struggle with this realization too. not so much the photographer part, but the calling myself an artist part. just doing what you love and what feels right for you makes you who you are. you are an amazing mom, woman, wife, and so many other things. and definitely an amazing photographer! keep up the great work.

6:42 AM  

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