As of today there is a new blogger at Mariposa Studio.

Me.

The real me.

When I hit publish on this post, as of that moment, it’s a different blog.

Because, I just can’t any longer.

When I first started my website and blog, I was cautioned to “keep it business.” That it should be all photography-centered, and “professional,” and above the fray.

I know there are so many different opinions about this, and I’m not out to convince anyone to do what I’m doing, which is to — not wade in — but jump in the deep end of being personal and even, sometimes, political. I just know that the picture-centered, professional, above-the-fray blog style is not for me.

I’m a journalist, a storyteller, opinionated, rich in experience. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve done a lot. I’ve been a lot. And as our society seemingly becomes more fragmented, it’s really impossible to blend in. Honestly, there’s no point in trying. You can’t fail to notice that I have same-sex couples in my portfolio. Even the most cursory look at my work will tell you I care about animals. And, notwithstanding my efforts to be impersonal, there’s some very personal stuff already on this blog.

But this morning, I was glancing at Facebook, keeping up with my friends and their understandable frustrations with today’s world, and twice, I thought, “I wish I had a blog.” And of course then immediately said to myself, “But … you DO have a blog.” And then back to myself, “But I can’t …”

“Why can’t you?”

(Yes, I talk to myself this way. I bet you do too.)

Because people might disagree? I guarantee there are already people who disagree. But what I do is so personal, so intimate. Photography at its best is capturing your greatest loves, your dearest values, the things you keep closest to your heart. I’m asking my clients so many personal questions every day. It feels wrong to hide myself from them.

So there are people who won’t want to do business with me because they disagree with me? So what? If they are basing their decisions on the fact that I chose for my business to be loving and inclusive, then that’s not really my problem now is it?

Because it’s not relevant? But you know what? It really IS relevant. My clients invite me into their lives, their homes, their very relationships. I’ve been invited into immigrant families, arranged marriages, struggling families, families with disabled children, same-sex relationships, open relationships … you name it. I’ve been invited there because somehow all those beautiful people figured out I wouldn’t judge them by MY standards. They allowed me the privilege to see them as the amazing people that they are. I don’t take that privilege for granted! Which means, yes, it’s relevant that I’m accepting of immigrants, of life choices and relationship styles, of all the little differences and quirks and unusualness that distinguishes one human from another.

So it’s time I “came out” as a person who cares. Who really wants to see compassion in both private and public life. Who welcomes and yearns for people to come together and solve problems, instead of standing on our two sides yelling at each other.

I don’t see myself solving the world’s problems. In the words of a favorite singer-songwriter:

“I am a voice that’s calling out
Across the great Divide
But I’m only just one person
Who feels they have to try.”
-Carrie Newcomer

But a voice. I can be a voice. And I will.