• Analysis
  • 03/17/2021 @ 2:46 PM

When we make photographs, we are participating in a conversation that takes place across temporal space. To press the shutter is to pull a slice from the unyielding flow of time, to hold a moment still, so that we may linger on moments of connection and beauty that would otherwise evaporate as quickly as light can move.

Our language is visual- these sentences are constructed in motifs, juxtapositions, color theory, and compositional weight. It's a language we can never fully master, but we can always deepen our fluency, every new insight learned is compounded in the reservoir that we draw from, and from this ever-deeper well, new ideas emerge and break through the surface, showing us new ways to see.

One of my favorite photographers who sees the world in her own complex and poetic way is Monaris.

Monaris is able to filter the chaos of city life through a sensitive and thoughtful lens, highlighting the humanity that turns these cathedrals of concrete into living, breathing, communities. A city without its people is just an inert structure, and to find the moments that breath life into an inorganic place is a subtle and clever talent.

Like Saul Leiter and Fred Herzog and so many masters, her work shines a light on the timeless characters that populate these gridded streets. Her approach is cinematic, compositions like our favorite scenes from movies that don't yet exist. The classic mixes with the modern, neons and newspapers, peacoats and cellphones, a time-bending approach that always has me looking for the subtlety embedded in each frame.

Monaris often works thematically, seeking patterns that unite her sets of images. Pairs of hands, seemingly idle but always engaged, speak volumes about the things we hold close. #CineAndColor is where she collects moments that contain movie sized narratives, all contained in a single, potent frame.

One of my favorite collections of hers is corralled in her tag #ReflectionStories. These moments hold multitudes: two worlds divided by a thin sheet of glass are blended back together as the city's context is overlaid upon these candid subjects- connection deepened by the occasional flash of eye contact, a moment of mutual curiosity, frozen forever in the amber of her eye.

It's no small task to stand out in a world consumed by the circadian rhythms of social media. These algorithms are hungry beasts, and even our best efforts can become buried in these avalanches of uploads. These feedback loops can help us grow, but they can also create endless imitations and a profound level of noise.

As it turns out, the best way to stand out is to stand as yourself, to be unequivocally YOU, because we are all entirely unique in our creative constructions, we are but the end product of every experience we've ever had, we are palaces built on the bare scaffolding of our DNA. No one can fake that process. Go deep within yourself, press onwards against the flow, get as close as you can to your rumbling, glowing, core- and transmit your signal from those depths.

If you're looking for an example of how far that mindset can take you, look no further than Monaris, weaving her stories with golden threads of light.

To see more from Monaris, check her out on Instagram, Twitter, and her website.

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