janine lidell photography the blog

Life in Photo. One day at a time.

Modern Artifact

Last month I had the opportunity to shoot my lovely friend Keia’s hand-woven baskets for her business, Modern Artifact. We spent the day on Sauvie Island at Cistus Nursery, which if you haven’t been to, go now. It is one of the most beautiful places. Ever. With cherry blossoms in full swing and a surprise sunny day, we settled in for a few hours and played with produce and flowers and even Keia’s hair. While doing our photo shoot, Keia’s baskets got noticed and she was able to score a new retail location in Portland. Check her out. Check out Cistus. What a ridiculous place we live with such creative people and such amazing landscapes. Ridiculous.

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cabin in the woods.

I’m feeling pretty lucky right now having spent an evening in the cutest little cabin near Mt. Hood. It must have been a good little relaxation/tequila driven trip considering there are no pictures of the amazing hot tub, fire place, fire pit or the million other details in this lovely little home. If you don’t find me for awhile, I might have just moved it. lidell_cabinwindowdaylidell_cabinleafart@0lidell_cabinscore  lidell_cabin_dog


long winters.

“I was wandering about in the world looking for an interesting place to be, when I realized that where already interesting.” -Emmet Gowin

Winter can seem to overstep some boundaries this time of year in Portland. The itch for warmth and adventure can get so strong that I find myself cursing the mud and the grey. And yet how lovely to be stuck inside sometimes with no desire but to make the soup and turn up the over-emotional music. Now that there are buds on the trees and a little yellow in the sky, it’s a good time to welcome and maybe nudge some new ideas, new directions and make some long-awaited changes.

Looking back on living alone over the past year and half is part of a project I’m working on for a Visual Memoir class I’m wrapping up at NewSpace. With the guidance of Motoya Nakamura I’m sifting through layers of the photographs of my own visual memoir…trying to make some sense of this “project” which is well, life. So here’s a beginning which I’m realizing is just that. A beginning. Stay tuned for some new interesting places and changes. There are some new beginnings I’m nudging after this long winter.


escaping the waiting place.

And sometimes we all just need to stop and read a little Dr. Seuss.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’ t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

a crack in everything.

There’s a crack,
a crack in everything,
that’s how the light gets in

-Leonard Cohen.


On this windy January day with bits of light pouring into my home, I’m reminded of how even in the middle of winter, there are cracks and light everywhere we look.

Love and be vulnerable and be happy for the cracks that let in the light.


“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Between a wish and a thing.

Meet my friend Johnny. I’m so glad I did. John Schlicta is a multi-media artist and overall fabulous human being.  One fine Sunday over brunch and a movie, I got a glimpse of some current work of Johnny’s. Paper cut-outs, 3-dimensional paper sculpture, mimosas and brussel sprouts. What a wonderful day. Oh and snooping around a friend’s home to discover all their hidden treasures…one of my favorite activities. Who’s next?

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on hope. mamiya+expired film.

“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”
―Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters



A lovely teacher of mine let me borrow her medium format Mamiya camera last month while she was out of town. I fell flat in love with the esthetics of this camera, the weight of it (it’s huge!), the sound of the trigger, the focusing system…I see one in my future.  It’s such a beast of a camera, when shooting, I found myself with the tripod, taking time to compose more so than usual with my digital. Each shot was more important, less disposable.

My friend and co-worker Aurora, armed with her sand dollar, was willing to dodge backyard spiders with me to shoot a bit on some expired film. May we both get back to the beach soon… 


cape cod

I consider myself lucky each time I get to travel to a place I’ve never been before. So thank goodness for my cousin who decided to get married on a remote island in Cape Cod. A whirlwind weekend of travel landed me first in Boston for a night and then to this sweet little island with a view of Martha’s Vineyard. Each home I visited on the island was filled with family treasures, antique furniture, well-stocked book shelves and artwork both grand and created by the children who spent summers on the island throughout their years. The details in these homes along with the quite amazing new family members I met will stick with me for a long, long time. I only hope to get back here again someday…soon.










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bon appétit

What a nice treat to have a photo I took as part of an article on bon appétit’s online magazine.