life . Portrait . street

Madison, WI


Fontana Giusti


This is a small post, with only four images. 

But that’s not going to be my point. This blog entry is about uncovering treasures in your own archives, it’s about leaning into the unexpected joy you feel when you discover something you had even forgotten you had, it’s about the pleasure of seeing work from one of your most prolificient seasons of creation, in the middle of a deep creative rut compounded by weeks of various ills.

So this is the story I want to tell. 

In October, after flowing for months with my street photography, I pushed myself to create despite slowly getting into an ebb. It did result into work I’m very proud of, but in all truthfulness, I wasn’t always feeling it. I went to photography meetups, I went on walks, and I gave my whole self during Holga Week (it paid off, by the way, go check the recognition page of this website in case you’re doubting me – wink wink). Then I started working for Lifetouch to do preschool portraits, and this gave me the opportunity to accept that I needed a break from my street photography. It was intense work, brutal hours, and draining interactions, and I ended up getting endlessly sick – and spreading the joy to preschools, daycares, and my own personal circle. Fast forward to the end of the season, I ended up with Covid, and couldn’t even imagine myself holding another camera in my hands in the foreseeable future.

So I did other things, specifically, I renovated my basement with my bare hands and the little energy I could gather between sneezes and antibiotic treatments. I turned my creative space upside down, moved my gear left, then right, as I removed decades-old carpet and painted the cement floor. And this week, I finished the remodel. And so I cleaned up, moving furniture and gear back into place (or not…), and tidying those negatives I sometimes had sleeved and sometimes not (this should be a NY resolution by the way, but I’m not kidding myself, there’s no way I can do this to myself). 

And that’s when I saw them.

Three sleeves of negatives. Expired film I wasn’t able to scan when I developed it back in May, July, and September. I had placed them under a heavy book hoping to make them easier to work with with time.

And I scanned them. And I discovered images I had taken on that afternoon I spent stalking gestures at the Chicago O’Hare International Arrivals terminal while I was waiting for my husband and kids to land from their vacation in Germany. And they are wonderful, if I may say so.

The colors are weird, sure (that’s one of the quirks of working with expired film), and I also made a couple of images not worth sharing anywhere (everyone makes duds, and that’s OK), but I got four images that I love, and so I’m sharing them, and they deserve their own blog entry.

So without further ado (this was a lot of it, wasn’t it, so many words)…

Kodak Max800 of unknown provenance (some goodwill auction) and unknown expiry date, likely overexposed by two stops and pushed in development, but I honestly cannot remember, shot in the Canon Eos7.

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