Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori McCurdy.
Lori, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always wanted to be a creative. From the time I was little, I remember I used to color for hours out of coloring books nonstop. I loved to decorate and all things of beauty spoke deeply to me. But somewhere along the lines between adolescence and adulthood, I bought the lie hook line and sinker that creativity was only for those who could beautifully paint, sculpt or draw. Creativity was only for those who had a natural flair for expressing in mediums that we all associate with art. Somewhere in my mind and heart, I believed I missed out on that “art” gene.
I’ve always been a deep soul, feeling the highs and lows of all range of emotions. I used to see this as a curse and sometimes it can be a double-edged sword, but a few years ago my heart began to change and the value of who I was became perfectly clear. I was going through a difficult time of deep introspection. I was unhappy, depressed, and didn’t know where I was going. I was on a path to be a personal trainer, something that I had wanted to do for a long time as fitness is a huge part of my life. I was raising four wonderful children, homeschooling, with the love of my life supporting me every step of the way. But something was still missing in my life and I felt empty.
I began to see the identity I had adopted for myself was a lie I had believed my whole life. The lie that I was lacking and incomplete. That I had been robbed of something I wanted so much. That I had to just “get by” and go through life feeling this way.
My faith has always been a backbone for me. Growing up in church my whole life, I knew God loved me, or at least I believed He loved some version of me. But it wasn’t until that deep personal struggle in my life that I truly turned to Him and began to see how much He fully loves me and that He did not make me incomplete but rather I am fully whole, just as I am.
It was around this time I picked up a camera, my son’s camera that he had asked for as a birthday gift. A little-used Canon. Nothing fancy or special. But as I began to uncover myself and my heart, all the layers of the lie I had believed being peeled back one at a time, I truly began to SEE for the first time. And what I saw when I raised that little camera to my eye showed me the beauty that was all around me. That beauty can be found in just about anything, even the most past over ugly thing or the smallest details we daily take for granted. I saw that beauty often comes alive from the very ashes of struggle, just like it had for me personally.
Everything was new to me. And the more I allowed my heart to breathe it all in, the more I finally began to see that creativity in me was there all along. It was just waiting to be birthed out of struggle. Creativity is in the soul of us all. It has no set medium or box. It’s free-flowing and available to all who allow themselves to uncover the held back heart deep within them. It only needs to be nurtured, fed and allowed to take root.
I continue to learn daily. Learn more about me, creativity, and how it all intertwines. I am still growing and I love making pictures more than anything. It’s my heart, my air. Pictures of families and their authentic connections speak deeply to me. I love telling true-life stories with my lens whether here or in another country. Stories of struggle but where hope prevails. Stories of love and stories of pain. There is no story worth burying because every story deserves to be told.
Just like mine.
And just like yours.
Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think any road is smooth on any journey. Because part of what makes us who we are and where we are going is the struggle that accompanies, guaranteed. Whether that be a personal struggle or circumstantial, our struggles have a great power… they sharpen us if we allow them. They deepen our commitment to what we value most and where we hope to be.
Things you have probably dealt with, just to name of few (and all that I have experienced on a deep level… remember what I said about how I feel things on every range high and low?)
I am nowhere close to where I think I should be but daily I have to remind myself there is no “Should”. There is only now. I am right where I am supposed to be and so are you.
I’m reaching the point where I no longer see my feelings as “bad” but rather how our feelings are there to guide us if we allow them…
When you feel doubt… feel it. But remember your truths. Know them. Memorize them. And then guard them with everything in you.
When you feel insecurities creeping in… feel them. But remember your insecurities are not who you are and they do not identify you. They are a form of fear at its root. Ask yourself what am I really afraid of here? When you can answer that honestly, move toward it.
When you feel comparison rearing it’s ugly head… feel it… but remember you are whole, completely. You have everything you need, you just may have to go deep to find it. Go deep. It’s always worth it.
When you’re tempted to believe a lie…just don’t. Lies are evil, meant to steal your joy away. Meant to rob you of that passion inside your heart, rendering you immobile.
Chase your passion…it’s there for a purpose in this world.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Lori Mack Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a creative at its root, and my lens is my avenue. I value authenticity and real emotion more than anything, especially through the connections and relationships that I have in my own personal life.
I grew up feeling always very different from those around me from the time I was very young. I was always the quiet one, always observing others and contemplating the deeper meaning of life and relationships. For this reason, I feel my childhood was not a normal childhood and because of that I am very much drawn to photograph children from that perspective. Moments where a child may be more quiet, alone, or having a quiet play, really move my heart and I think that allows us to see that often there is great depth in children we take for granted. We focus a lot on photography now on all the “normal” aspects of childhood but rarely do we see children photographed from a place of solitude and reflection. Because I craved deep connecting relationships from such an early age, the parent/child bond is something that moves me greatly to capture as well when I am with a family.
I’ve been told my work is very reflective, that there is a depth to the images I make and that they take on a “fine art” feel. Because I value the “real” moments, described as more documentary or storytelling, yet I also need to evoke depth and feeling in those moments, I see my work as “artful storytelling”. I want others to see that everyday real life is not only beautiful but full of connections or connecting moments all around us. Whether that be a child connecting to his or her play in solitude or with a sibling, a connecting moment between a mother who holds or comforts her child, or even the smallest detail that we so often pass over but will undeniably make us feel something when we pause to remember their significance…to me, those are the moments worth remembering, worth holding on to by way of a photograph. Because those are the moments years down the road you will feel those memories all over again.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
Don’t look out.
Find your significance first. Know and be sure of your worth FIRST. Because no one can take that away from you once you do and it will only make your work that much more authentic to YOU. The world will try to tell you every which way to do something, who you should be or how your work should look. There’s a million voices screaming at you every day from “out there” battling for your attention and attempting to rob you of what is necessary to be authentic… vulnerability.
Our world desperately needs to hear your vulnerability…your story. They long to connect with something of greater meaning and significance and what you want to tell the world by your passions and your ambitions requires just that.
Be genuinely, unapologetically you, however, that looks or whatever medium you are looking to grow. Because what you have to give is not just your passion, it is your calling to invite the world in to see you!
- Family Storytelling Sessions starting at $750
- Fresh48 Sessions starting at $500
- Special Events starting at $300
- Website: lorimackphotography.com
- Phone: 479-619-5895
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loriamcc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorimackphotography/
Lori Mack Photography