artist statement for Cindy Waszak Geary

Available Light

Within my current portfolio are over a decade's worth of black and white images from Africa, Asia and America. My photographs are a way of showing others the amazing world that I move through - in awe of the joy and beauty and sense of dignity among the people I photograph. I have seen in the faces of those I photograph the common humanity that we all share; the same emotions…the same hopes and dreams and worries and concerns. I am truly honored that the people I photograph are willing to share in this experience with me.

Though there is definitely a documentary influence in my photographs, I consider them fine art photographs as well. I like collections of images that tell a story, but individual photographs can stand alone as pieces of art. I tend to take photographs wherever I am and of whomever I am with at the moment, and then let the images sort themselves into various stories about the world. Though I show them (as in this website) by the parts of the world in which they were taken, I sometimes pull together collections from various parts of the world based on a common element, such as double portraits or houses of worship. My training in psychology undoubtedly influences my work and I especially love portraiture, looking for what a person reveals as they look into my camera. I also feel it is important to set portraits in a physical context to help the viewer understand as much as possible about what brings the subject to the particular moment in which the photograph is shot.

I feel a special strength of expression in black and white photography -- I love the reliance on form and content to communicate emotion and beauty. It evokes a very direct reaction from the viewer. I usually do not use flash or studio lighting for my photographs, but use available light instead, light that not only surrounds the subjects of my photographs, but also shines through them. Most of the photographs in this website were originally taken using film (using a Pentax K1000 35mm camera or an older Yashikamat - medium format) but I am making the transition to digital photography and printing images on art paper or canvas using archival ink. Though I love working in the darkroom, I believe digital photography offers all the creative opportunities of film without the toxic effects of working with chemicals.

I have recently added several new series of photographs and works in other media to my website. You can find artist's statements with each of these new areas.