I've always loved stories - hearing them, watching them, creating them….As  an artist I leave myself open to the stories unfolding all around me, contained in the briefest of moments and the most unexpected of places. These “glimpses” are found in the things we see every day, so much that we cease to notice them.

When I witness these moments  and capture them with my camera, I'm plucked out of my everyday and given the chance to reclaim a sense of awe, curiosity, and sense of “other”.  It's a feeling of connection with the natural world, with the human experience, and perhaps what has come before. It can also be a much needed connection to our deepest selves - something we long to experience but often go without in our day to day lives.

When I capture images I may hang back unobtrusively, watching and waiting in silence for moments to present themselves organically. I observe the people around me and listen to the stories that they’re telling me without words  through their expressive faces, their nuanced exchanges, and their body language. Other times, I actively seek the moment out, venturing out with my camera to the woods or the mountains, poking around abandoned houses, wading in creek beds, and climbing up trees to where the branches part and the sky opens up.

I may find myself in a new city that I have yet to discover, or one that I’ve walked a hundred times, exploring all the nooks and crannies in hopes of discovering “treasures” : a vibrant miniature wall mural tucked between gas meters on a quiet side street, a tiny handprint on a building cornerstone, a secret message scrawled in graffiti on the back of a hidden door. It feels like these things were left for me to find - a reward for taking the time to peek around and appreciate what’s not always right in front of me.

The everyday world around us, when captured in its natural state, can offer up an array of dynamic, compelling images. But the creation of an image can be opportunity to transform and redefine an everyday object or person, and perhaps even point to something bigger than itself. Through the manipulation of scale, perspective, and contextual surroundings, the subject can shed its old familiar “self” and take on an alternate identity and thus a new meaning.  An ordinary oak tree becomes a dancer in mid-leap through the shape of its trunk and tilt of its branches. A pile of rusty scrap metal becomes a magnificent sculpture. A tiny insect becomes a larger than life creature that dominates the frame.

With every image I capture, I offer a story to the viewer.  You may feel drawn to an image, or repulsed by it, or confused by it. Perhaps it triggers a childhood memory, or reminds you of someone you once knew, or stirs up an emotion you can’t quite put your finger on. Regardless of your reaction, you are now engaged, and you are part of  an exchange. Whether you are seeing your own story in it or bearing witness to mine, you are hopefully feeling a sense of connection that comes with that exchange. This is what drives me to create and to put it out there to the world. My hope is to offer that sense of "other" to the viewer and create art that speaks to them, and in doing so give them the silent encouragement to look closer, look deeper, and look often.



Jennifer G. Hughes
 Owner, Conjure Images

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