This month we are featuring Maria Helena Carey for the Capitol Hill Art League’s Mind of the Artist series. Read her story and check out her artwork below.
You can view more of her artwork here:
My name is María Helena Carey and I live on the Hill with my two sons and my mother. When I first became a mom almost 20 years ago, I started developing an interest in photography that had perhaps always been there, but not in any kind of active way. The advent of digital photography has evened the playing field in some ways: No longer do you need to know the mysterious ways of the dark room and the confusing ways of loading your film. Digital cameras have made it easy — perhaps too easy for the purists–– to be in charge of collecting and curating your memories and the things you put out in the world.
My first artistic attempts at capturing my children with a camera were not as satisfying as I wanted them to be, so I signed up for photography classes at CHAW. I liked it so much, I returned for more classes and eventually obtained a Master’s in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran. But while many of my classmates had dreams (in a few cases, excellently fulfilled) of covering conflict and war zones, I love focusing on the smaller details of the everyday. My shots are sometimes snapshotty and I’m not satisfied 99% of the time with what I capture. But every once in a while I make an image that makes me happy and reminds me of a particular day and a moment in time, and I hope it also evokes feelings in you, the viewer.
These days, my favorite camera is my cell phone. Yes, I sometimes arrange time with one of my full-sensor, big-girl cameras and the experience is always exhilarating, even when I don’t capture much. But my phone is my trusty sidekick, always ready and willing to help me capture little snippets of life with its wide-angled view. The phone has taught me how to be quick but also friendly. It has helped me get over my fear of approaching subjects too closely (“it’s only a phone!”) and it’s light enough to be taken everywhere.
You can view more of my work at the follow: