Bold and intense, two words that carry a heavy tone and, at times, negative image. I have been told many times in my life that I have a very bold and intense personality–these times include from my husband, previous boss, and my own parents. My husband jokes often that I become so passionate about certain topics that my positive energy can have intimidating undertones. Some try to brush off my passion as, “oh that’s just Emily,” while others embrace it! While working this past week at Nido Durham, a few of the other co-working mamas and I were talking about words and how people interpret them. When I mentioned the terms bold and intense, these lovely mamas gave their interpretations of the words which were VERY different from the ways that they had been used to describe me in the past.
This new interpretation had me think about how I set up a frame and edit my images. I have been told that my photos have a unique, more off center look with emphasis on lines and depth. This focus, at times, goes against typical photographic rules. After years of following photo rules and having teacher/classmate critiques, I realized that I needed to continue my bold and intense emphasis to make photography meaningful to me. This evolution of thought has opened my mind to a whole new way of using my camera and photography as a whole. Photography is like style and personality–everyone has their own way of dressing and you need to appreciate their style as their own.
This new view of the terms had me thinking back to specific instances where bold and intense were used as “Emily adjectives.” I wonder if I had a different impression of bold and intense if I would have handled certain situations differently. One example that sticks out was during my student teaching. My cooperating teacher and I didn’t see eye to eye on how lessons needed to be done. (I had to complete a certain number of lessons in a certain format for observational purposes and she didn’t want to have a student teacher.) When it came time to review the lesson with her, she informed me that my reactions to her observations were a bit intense. I was standing up for what I believed in and followed the lesson format to the letter. Looking back I should have taken this as a compliment rather than an insult. Later on, as I was interviewing for a special education preschool job, I used an example of an accommodation that was part of the lesson. My cooperating teacher hated this accomodation, she said it made large group time cumbersome. The principal that I was interviewing with appreciated the time and thought I had put into making this accommodation. Two years later, he still reminded me of how much this accomodation stuck out in his mind and why I was the perfect person for the job. (By the way–the accomodation was sawing off the legs of a chair so that a student could sit at large group with the support he needed. Bold and intense yes…) With that, I challenge you to embrace who you are! Challenge the sterortypes of words to prove that there is positive hidden behind negative.