freeze. capture. shoot.
push. burn. dodge
frame. flash. fixer.

 
I'm not sure which came first, my love of words or my love of photos. (I was an early adapter of the alphabet.) In any case, therešs a delightfully subversive subtext to the lexicon of photography that seems to bring these two worlds together. So of course, today I am a writer and a photographer. New York-based. But still hard to pin down.
 
I am also left-handed. Right-brained. Left of center. Occasionally unhinged. Often format-challenged, because I spin stories with photos and paint pictures with words.
 
Hence: mental/photography.
 
At 8, I shot my horse. Bareback.
At 10, I shot Abraham Lincoln. At Mount Rushmore.
At 12, I shot my dad. In the drawing room. It was a formal sitting.
At 14, I shot an indian. In a parade. In her marching band uniform.
At 16, I shot the senior class president. And his cabinet.
 
Since then, I have also taken cheap shots and long shots. However, I never shoot indiscriminately. Even now. I shoot for friends. For weddings. For family. For evidence. For love. For myself.
 
Nor do I write indiscriminately. I have written for love. For revenge. For favors. For a paycheck. For web sites. For junk mail. For print, TV and radio. For magazines. For myself.
 
The trick is to never stop. As ever, I am oblivious to the freezing cold when a flash of color warms my mind or when a cloud alters the mood of a landscape. I can show you the precise color of the desert sky at four in the morning. The naked sneer on a veiled woman who scorns me. The semi-obscured journey of the shadows beneath a pier. I can show you the evaporating image of towers that no longer exist.
 
In words. In pictures. Or in my mind (special access code required).
 
johanna thompson
mental/photographer
 

 
Art is an open wound. Salt or salve, pour it on (or ask for a price list) at johanna@mental-photography.com

 
  mental bookmarks
 
pedro almodóvar
nick bantock
béla bartók
ludwig van beethoven
miljenko bengez
karl blossfeldt
bill brandt
bitter wonder
caleb carr
henri cartier-bresson
willa cather
harry clarke
salvador dalí
charles dickens
umberto eco
william eggleston
walker evans
les fauves
freewillastrology.com
joseph heller
edward hopper
antoni gaudí
danny gatton
william least heat-moon
shirley jackson
dmitri kabalevsky
wassily kandinsky
aram khachaturian
b.b. king
barbara kruger
anatoly krynsky
dayna kurtz
gabriel garcía márquez
guy de maupassant
mrbellersneighborhood.com
montreal canadiens
flannery o'connor
opacityzero
thomas paine
portishead
georges seurat
patrick süskind
sebastiâo salgado
sheherezade
arthur tress
slashdot
leo tolstoy
tom waits
mikio watanabe