Heather Evans Smith is our newest JSG artist, and we are thrilled to share her incredibly creative and visually arresting imagery with you. To continue with our blog series, featuring an image and the photographer’s own words about it (Kathleen Robbins told us about Burning Field and Jeff Rich told us about Blue Ridge Paper Mill), I asked Heather to share some thoughts on one of my favorite photographs, A Soft Place To Land.
in her words. . .
One of the biggest inspirations for my work is music. While driving back home from a visit with my parents, a song came on the radio that immediately caught my attention. “I’m looking for a soft place to land, the forest floor, the palm of your hand.” I saw a woman deep in the forest on a mattress. I didn’t hear the song again but that visual stayed with me. When an image haunts me, my only choice is to release it into the world as a photograph.
Six months after hearing the song all the elements were finally in place. I wanted an old mattress for the color and a deep forest to shoot. Luckily all those elements were available in or around my parents’ home. My dad and I loaded the heavy mattress (turns out vintage mattresses are much more dense than new ones) on top of the car and drove it down to the perfect wooded area. With my husband and dad holding the mattress from behind for support, I jumped and contorted into all sorts of positions, defying gravity, sleeping while standing (all while using a remote and throwing it down at the last second). After clicking the shutter for the last time and loading the heavy mattress back onto the car, I felt a release, an exhale, until the next visual sneaks in.