When point-and-shoot cameras improved, I began taking pictures as well as collaborating on the writing of books my husband and I created. Many of my images have been used in our last three books. About half the images in Lover’s Leap Legends are mine.
Are these photographs art? They certainly are not “pushing the photographic medium." Nor do they “speak to our digital age.” “Narrative” is the category I claim.
Even though the purpose of these images is to communicate our unorthodox interpretation of fake folklore, esthetic selectivity is still required. Pop culture Native American themes and artifacts are usually presented as being either campy, or vile and incorrect. The intent of our approach is more nuanced in both the text and illustration. While acknowledging these legends are spurious, I question whether the romantic sentimentality our ancestors evidenced in creating them was malicious. Ignorance and lack of taste are not crimes. Doesn’t such a balancing act require art?