Her profile at West Medford Open Studios states “taking pictures has always been a hobby…first as a family photographer and then …”

T-H-A-T-S an understatement.

When Claire Ghiloni was born the doctor yelled “It’s a Kodak” ! and the slap heard ’round the ward was her shutter speed warming up. Ah ! it was definitely a Kodak moment that day. Her bottle had a lens at the bottom. Her pacifier was a roll of 35mm and her first word was Nikon.

Indeed Claire – like it or not – became the family photographer. It was more than a hobby, it was how she saw life.

The Dark Enlightenment

Claire was and is a photographer. I was a budding dabbler. I still dabble. And years ago Claire introduced me to black & white photography, developing and the dark room. We shot, developed, dipped and hung dry those photos. It was a dark enlightenment and I was hooked.

The Dawning of Digital

Life and time took us both and photography in different directions. The dawning of digital gave photography a new direction. I did not follow it as eagerly as Claire. I hung onto (and still use) my Cannon SLR (no “d” – just SLR).

Digital has its advantages and there are many. But as a photographer hobbyist, one thing I couldn’t get used to was digital’s lack of photographic warmth.


The Evolution of the Photographer

I was eager to see the evolution of the photographer and photography.

And I had the privilege of catching up with Claire and viewing her gallery yesterday as the West Medford Open Studios hosted its yearly art exhibit where Claire’s work, Fotographia di Vita (Photography of Life), was on display.

We chatted about the old days, the photo days, digital photography and the inspiration for her current work – Fotographia di Vita – Photography of Life.

An Overwhelming Analogy

But as we chatted, the most overwhelming analogy came over me – how different life can be if we look at it from a different angle.

I was totally captivated by a photograph Claire had on display of something so many of us walk past daily without a second thought. But when she saw it, she saw it with a different eye, a photographer’s eye, and it instantly became something more magnanimous than what it was.

I couldn’t leave without purchasing Infinity. The combination of color, clarity and serenity in this photograph captivated me. You could almost hear the crispness of the waves frolicking together.

And the demand for a Beacon Hill Street was so overwhelming Claire was taking orders – including mine. And again, while the view in this picture is a very common sight in Boston, through the eye, the lens and the perception of a photographer, it became something serenely beautiful.

A New Awakening

I left Claire’s exhibit yesterday with a new awakening and a new perception of digital photography. I thank her for both. I look forward to looking through life and my digital viewfinder from a different angle (okay, you don’t actually look through a digital viewfinder).

But think about it, what could your life become if you looked at it with the eye of a photographer.

Just for Fun ~ an Invitation

Let’s have some fun with this artistic revelation. I invite you to pick something that’s going on in your life and look at it from a different angle. Then share your experience in comments below. How did it change? What did you experience? Were you able to see something new, something more beautiful?

Life truly is the result of the perception with which you view it. I’m not saying it’s always easy. But I AM saying it’s ALWAYS the case. But if we try and look at it with a different perception perhaps we’ll struggle just a little less.

Be a photographer in your own life and enjoy seeing the beauty in the ordinary.

A thank you to Claire for cleaning my lens of life and adjusting my focus !



I stumbled upon this philosophy while reading something

“Learn by doing – Teach by showing”

May we all have the courage to follow our dreams – aspire to great heights and share the struggles and success stories with others

Thanks Nic Justice for doing – showing – sharing

have fun with your photography and your filmmaking !


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