five on five :: the lemons

I’m participating in “Five on Five” which is an experimental photographic blog hop dealy mcbob thingamajig.You know what I mean, right? A small commitment to show up with my camera and my blog, once a month, and five photos…so here I am with my lemons. Pictures first, story second…

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Creative inspiration hasn’t been hanging around me much lately. I’m not depressed, just not inspired.   My brain is busy and I’ve not felt motivated to write or photograph much of anything. When Kim Thompson Steele asked if I’d like to join this group, I was excited but a little anxious that wouldn’t be able muster up five photos I’d want to share. Seriously, I didn’t have one idea worth pursuing. But I’m pretty good with deadlines, so I decided to stay calm and wait it out. Inspiration would certainly reveal itself, just in time. It always does.

And so it did.

She was small, Hawaiian, and the most inspirational person I’ve ever worked with, Pam. She was our studio art director for years (15?), before we went small, and some of my best work and biggest ideas were manifested by Pam…so much more magical than they ever were in my own imagination.

We don’t see each other often, but she’s one of my favorite people on the planet. We made plans for a New Year’s lunch and she came to the studio last week, bearing a giant grocery bag of Meyer Lemons from her yard. So many lemons!

Steve is a gifted gardener, but his Meyer Lemon producing abilities have been lacking. We’re on our third tree, and it has one measly lemon and some pitiful mottled leaves. The fact that I can’t have lemons of my own makes me even much more envious of other people’s lemons. I am trying to be patient, but he knows I would give anything for an ongoing supply of juicy, bright, delightful lemons in our yard and in our kitchen.

We had a lovely lunch with Pam, talking about so many people we worked with, and how special that time was, at least for the three of us. She’s one of those people who always assumes you’re doing your best, so you do. When she left, I realized I felt energized and creative, just like the old days.

And those lemons, the other part of the gift (Pam being the first part). I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could photograph them, staging them at the studio and at home. Some ideas worked, some didn’t. And some of the ideas that didn’t, led me to ideas that led to other ideas that eventually worked differently. I took over 300 pictures of lemons in three days.

They were the bright light. Literally.

I’ve only used a few of the lemons for cooking. The glass bowl sits on my kitchen table, reminding me that I do have a creative light, I just have to remember where the switch is. I’m going to make them last as long as I can, and juice the rest, so I can use them whenever I like.

There’s more to this Five on Five gig. Next up is Stephanie Smith, so visit her site and then click through to the next one, until you’ve visited us all. And thanks for hanging with me!





  1. I really like your story and the lemons. It’s funny with creativity, eh?! Keep shooting lovely, you will find your light, promise!
    Glad to have you with us :)

  2. Ellen

    Love the lemons….my favorite happy fruit (and kitchen decorating theme which started years ago with gift of large lemon cookie jar and inspired many lemon themed gifts over the years!!)
    Also enjoyed the your blog as well as all the others….a very creative group….thanks for sharing.

  3. This is such a happy-making post – love these bright sunshiney lemons! Ours is also the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of lemon trees – so sad.

  4. Maureen

    I love that you took 300 photos of lemons. I’ve always wondered if I’m the only one that ends up with that many photos to slog through after a still life shoot. And that one against the blue sky? Brilliant.

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