This morning I was at the offices of the American Association of University Women, with whom I’ve worked for a few years. But today was different. Instead of the usual headshots and special events I’ve done at the office, this week is their national conference. And for a portion of it, we toured their offices. I’ve walked these halls many times before, but never really stopped to look at the plethora of artwork and photographs that they contain. They own an original Georgia O’Keefe sketch. They have letters from Roosevelt. A trunk, that in 1881 was the “AAUW office”. I can only imagine the documents and research that it held.
But most breathtaking were the photographs framed and hung throughout the halls. Photos of suffragists protesting, and a particularly incredible frame of a woman, fierce and determined, being arrested. Photos of the first presidents of the organization, receptions, candid shots of members, and the entire organization standing in front of the White House with the first lady. And it reminded me that what I do is sometimes pretty important. That the photos I took this morning will continue to create a documented history of AAUW and the members and staff that drive it.
When I created Stacey Vaeth Photography, I drafted a vision statement to crystallize what I wanted to do. Part of it says:
“I will capture what may feel like an every day moment. But the image of that moment, hung on the wall over the years, can speak volumes and change meaning each day. If successful, it can exude the complexity of a lifetime, the profoundness of a rite of passage, and the meaning of a family through an expression of love, peace, growth and comfort.
The deck of card-sized camera of today has transitioned photography from a novelty to an ever-present activity. As a result, professional photography and the physical photographs that result are even more special. Images that tell a story, are classically framed and passed through generations create permanency in this fast paced and impatient world.”