Sometimes a moment feels so surreal that a soundtrack can almost be heard playing along in the background. In this case, there was one – sort of. As I was going through these images, a remix album called “Missing Deadlines: Selected Remixes,” featuring Ulrich Schnauss songs, was playing. It turned out to be the perfect soothing-spacey-airy music and really pulled me back into that summer night, beneath the stars drinking cream sodas out of glass bottles.

Getting to Know Jupiter

Jupiter was bright, and my heart was light, before sunrise. And everything is changing.



Also, I’m ‘escapetolight’ on Instagram. Have a great week.

Chamomile Mint Tea


Benefits of chamomile:

  • sleep aid
  • stomach soother
  • wound healer
  • cancer protector
Benefits of mint: 
  •  reduces pain
  • helps digestion
  • soothes sinuses (HELLO)
  • sedative/relaxes


Recipe I use: 

Just fill a tea infuser with about 5 fresh mint leaves and 2 tsp of dried or fresh chamomile flowers! Boil water and steep in your favorite mug:)

strip down to nothing

remove what ails you

you can

rig up those sails, new


hearts on trial, grew

we did

without further ado


austere, clear, taboo

don’t need

the money, the image, the froufrou


a strengthened worldview


get to your dreams before curfew


(c) Michelle Black April 2012



I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who take the time to make positive, optimistic posts on your blogs. Danielle LaPorte and Jenna at are two of the first that come to mind! Sometimes all it takes is one sentence to give someone the motivation to try a little harder for themselves, or for someone else.  So writers, you’re doing a great thing for people and hope/encouragement is where it starts. Words are an extremely powerful thing and those of you who are making an effort to send out motivational messages have encouraged me in SO many ways. Thank you. Sometimes, even just telling a story that another person can relate to is enough to offer some consolation. Please, keep writing and keep blogging.

I recently read a rather cynical blog post about “people writing and talking about positive things on the internet isn’t as necessary as doing things and not needing to talk about it” – basically saying why not go out into the world and be a physical example of hope and help without having to say anything. Actions speak, but words are equally powerful. That’s why there are books;)

For starters, those of you who sit and make time to write out your thoughts and start up important discussions, raising important questions, pointing out beautiful things about the world —- you’ve helped me realized that my photography work alone, as a profession, or even just a hobby, wasn’t *quite* enough. And while I LOVE helping educate other photographers, being an educator in the field of photography isn’t quite enough either. Having been so busy with work the last several years, I haven’t had as much time as I would like to get out there and use my talent differently…. to throw myself into situations where I’m directly involved with the things that move me. I’m grateful for my friends and colleagues at SEE [Stories for Everyone, Everywhere] who are providing a stepping stone for others to get out there and make a difference, no matter how small. Even just a simple conversation with someone else, even if just to listen and not say a word. SEE has already given me opportunities to work with and get to know people – for the sake of the experience.


I’ve mentioned that I started school again recently. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to manage the time involved in learning and working, all while balancing the time I spend with my 10 year old and the activities he is involved with. Two weeks into classes, and still adjusting, I have zero regrets on making the decision to return to school. I chose to be a sociology major with a minor in philosophy, as I feel both subjects relate directly to photography and I have every intention of using these skills and knowledge to take on more documentary assignments. I’m already rearranging the kinds of sessions I’m doing, with a special focus on storytelling this year (as mentioned HERE) and am very enthusiastic about focusing more on wedding coverage. I’m also prepared to be a completely poor college student if I have to, in order to fully absorb all of this new information.

The Value of Your Services

Whatever it is that you do professionally, you are an asset to someone. Don’t ever feel less valuable than someone else. Don’t ever let someone tell you that what you’re doing for humankind is any less important than what someone else is doing. Anytime you put forth an effort, you’re making an impact. If you’ve read this far, it’s because you care and you are thorough in what you want to understand, and that in itself is a quality that deserves to be praised.

The Value of Your Interests

Is there something that has been tugging at your heart, something that you feel like you need to do… but you’re afraid, or don’t think you have enough time? Here’s the thing: do it. Talk to people who support you. They’ll tell you the same thing! You only live once – ONCE! It isn’t setting or even accomplishing goals that gives something significance – it is the effort you put into your experiences along the way.


Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading! Until next time….



 self portrait

Starting over.
Breaking things down to the bare bones, to the essence.

The reasons why. The reasons why not.

Knowing what is best, right.
Knowing what is harmful.
Quietly self destruct.
Privately reconstruct.
Finding all the pieces
Sneaking away to a place that is clean
Where words nurture and kind hearts intervene
Where knowledge is the song that sings
“Overcome with a busy life
And in minding proper things”

© Feb 2012




my son, age 10.

Some Film Photography

Unfortunately, the photographs taken last year on my Argus “Brick” (maufactured in the 1940′s-1950′s) were ruined, the film became jammed as I was rewinding it and ripped – thinking the rewind was finished, I opened the back and exposed the film to sunlight. Although I was a bit disappointed, I did get some great shots off my Holga and Blackbird Fly. I’ve aquired roughly 40 vintage cameras and intend to photograph with all of them – I also intend to acquire MORE cameras haha:)

Here are some of my favorites that I just received back on disc. Film used was Kodak 400nc (expired) and Fuji RTP (expired Tungsten). Next Friday , Feb 3, 2012 from 5-9 pm  at my studio I’ll be showing snapshot photography (travel and leisure) in addition to my film work, I’d love if you could come!

This year, I’m offering toy / vintage camera sessions to my clients. Still ironing out those details but I’m so excited to have made this decision! Until then, I hope you enjoy these images! As always, tfl <3




Wanting Right



No matter who you are, where you are, or what you have, there is probably some part of you that is left wondering “what if” concerning given situations.


What if things were different?

What if I was with someone else? 

What if I had more money?

What if I was as pretty as she? 

What if I hadn’t made that stupid mistake? 


We all want things. Hope and wish and long for things. But if we did obtain it, all of it even, it is highly likely that eventually, wanting something else would surface. Always wanting more, wanting different, better, greater, bigger. Never having quite enough.



So, then I saw this earlier.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want. It’s only natural to want things. However there really is a difference between wanting…. and wanting what we actually do need, wanting “right”, wanting to keep those things in order. Essentially there are four things that we all need – food, water, a healthy state of mind / intellect, and reciprocated love/care. And those four things are intended to work together, giving you the capacity to give and to serve others. At least, that should be how it works… and it makes me very sad to know how many people are lacking one or more of those four things.

When wanting loses balance or falls too far outside the realm of necessity, there is potential for a person’s entire existence to suffer, for the mind to become clouded with desires and inferiority complexes and jealousies. Those things, too, are natural to some degree, but wanting right can help eliminate them.



It’s not possible for me to create a list of right things to want. We’re all individuals and we’ve all walked different paths. But I think you know you’re wanting right when suddenly you see the world as a bounty of opportunities to do something good, something big, something that will make others want to do something good, and all of it without any expectation of reward or recognition. You know you’re wanting right when you can look around yourself and smile at what you’ve come through to get where you are, and that there is still so much room for more.  You’re wanting right when you make efforts to expand your mind and improve the way you function and communicate with others.

The simplest things can change the entire world, and you don’t have to prove any of it to anyone for those actions to feel validated. Doing something for the person in need will be all the validation you could ask for!



I understand tradition, as this time of year is deemed the “season of giving and gratitude” (or something like that). I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before, but why must there be a season devoted to giving? Shouldn’t we be living our lives from a place of gratitude and giving, every day? We even tend to compete with one another and what is being given or feel less significant if we can’t give as much as someone else does at Christmas. And we all say “oh this has become so commercialized” yet we still go out and spend thousands of dollars. Even worse, we expect to receive this time of year.


No further comments.

Thoughts on Thanksgiving Morning

I don’t perceive the world the same as most.

I don’t hear voices in my head, but I SEE music, and I HEAR emotion.

Nothing is the way it seems.

Children need to be nurtured and tucked in at night.

Every night.

I believe you are in control over your own destiny.

The things around me are works of art waiting to happen.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – oh so true.

One thing can become something else instantly if you change your perception.

There is so much music in my head…..

I stand alone, yet I am not lonely

Love exists

We all have a story that has been sculpted into time

I hear songs as I am writing this now

Tears are trails to a greater understanding

Smiling make us stronger

What happened to people being friendly?

I wish I had a time transporter

I don’t want to know all the answers

My heart is like the high tide, waves crashing

Sometimes I mourn my losses on my bedroom floor at midnight

If I had a million dollars I wouldn’t be any more content than I am right now

“So much for the honest man” – a line from a song I am listening to now

I love looking out my window in the morning

Ohio isn’t as boring as I used to think

Sometimes I feel empowered by the woman I have become

Sometimes I feel fragile when I remember the little girl inside

I wish the Hollywood lights weren’t so distracting to everyone

We’re all the same

Maybe I’m neurotic because I haven’t been dancing enough

Maybe you’re lonely because we haven’t met

Small town minds are growing smaller

None of you have seen the best in me, yet.

© 2011