MOORE - In a message dated 9/27/01 11:11:24 AM September 27, 2001
So, yes, I am the Orah Moore you are looking for. Hard to believe it has
been 20 years since we first formed Women In Photography in Mary McNally's
living room. And true to form I am still a woman doing photography. I
moved from Los angeles in 1987 just as you were taking over as a director.
At that time I was finishing up, hastily, my Master's in photography with
Eileen Cowin and Daryl Curran at Cal State Fullerton and moved my then
young family to Northern Vermont.
I started my own publishing company: Haymaker Press, greeting cards, posters,
blank journals, and magnets as a wholesale company. I also do wedding
photography, and a myriad of other commercial type photo things. I have
from time to time taught photography at the community college or for low
key workshops. I don't go for the high profile stuff --I have settled
into accessible art. Last year I moved my several businesses out of my
funky 100+ house and into a commercial location in the town and opened
a card and gift shop along side the wholesale part of the business. The
best part my my work is going out with my kayak early in the morn to photograph
loons or mist rising...or in the winter to snowshoe into a meadow or a
pass and capture the way winter has settled in for the season.
Take a look at my new web site: www.haymakerpress.com I am updating it
but even as it is now it will give you some look into what keeps me busy.
The latest project I was involved with was a great project with the Vermont
Arts Council to do 8 photo murals for a new building at Vermont Technical
College: My art team partner and I put images of technology juxtapositioned
with image of nature on corrugated stainless steel. Hopefully that will
be on my web site soon too. Enough about me.
ORAH MOORE In a message dated 9/4/02 5:59:28 AM, email@example.com
My recollections of the history of WIPI are sort of sketchy...it's been
20 years! One thing I recall is that I moved to the Los Angeles area from
the Bay Area in about 1980 and looked around for photography things to
get involved in. I found an organization called CAMERVISION that I joined
(Did they disband?) I also put an ad in Art News? (is that still around?)
asking if any women would like to start up an informal monthly Brit group.
About 6 of us met regularly...I think it included Thea Litsios and Carrie
Mae Weems. Somewhere along there ,maybe through Carrie or Thea I became
aware of a larger Women's group--WIP--just getting started. I recall meeting
Margaret Grundstein Los Angeles, she also has a family camp on a northern
Vermont lake near where I now live and we see each other when ever she
visits...like last month! She runs a very successful day care business
in the LA area and is not doing much with photography) and Mary McNally
(no idea where she is). The meeting was at Mary's apartment. I was very
pregnant with my first son. I remember the WIP group threw a baby shower
for me and I may have some photos somewhere from that day if you want
early member photos.
I was pretty active as a board member for a couple years then probably
stepped back as motherhood and running my own photography studio in Los
angeles got to be pretty busy. I was on board for the event when we brought
Eve Arnold to town to speak. I think Deb rounder had a lot to do with
Thanks for all you and others have done to keep WIPI going. It is gratifying
to see that a fledgling organization that I was involved getting started
is still going strong with a whole new group of amazing women photographers!!!
(And I don't even know who any of you are... thanks, again.)
memories of the first WIP meetings are that we knew what we were starting
was very important, and I think we each felt very special to be part of
it. We imagined it might grow into something, maybe last a few years,
but I dont think we ever imagined it would grow into one of the
most important groups of its kind in the world: a place where women could
expose their whole selves and not be censored or crimped or feel they
had to shrink back in order not to offend.
I remember how much I wanted one of my photos to be chosen for the first
brochure and was so happy when it was. I felt recognized and honored,
something that I needed very much at that time.
Id already been doing professional photography since 1970, and knew
how hard it was to be taken seriously as a female photographer. Id
been on the Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour as one of two women
tour photographers; lived in Europe for five years as a documentary photographer;
and worked with SPARC and the Los Angeles Citywide Mural Project, among
other things. Id been exhibited, my work purchased by museums, etc.
but it was a time when guy photographers were most often given the jobs.
I dont know how much has changed since the early 80s - I suspect
not so much. In fact, I think there has been a regression. When you read
in TV Guide that the definition of Americas sweetheart, Meg Ryan,
is nice, but cant be a pushover; smart, but cant be
too brainy; beautiful, but not too sexy; and must be certain about the
transforming power of love, you have to stop and wonder how much
Being part of Women In Photography in the early years was like being in
a safe space. Each of us supported the other and rooted for the other
to succeed. We could see where each of us differed and where one of us
had strengths the other needed, wed help each other. I remember
joint photo sessions in EK Wallers studio or having Alexandra Milovanovich
teach me about portrait lighting. I remember gatherings in Hollywood,
where wed network with other women photographers and have wine and
cheese, and talk and share pictures.
I also remember that we were young women, grappling with relationships,
sexuality, self-esteem issues, confusion as to how to make money doing
what we loved, interpersonal issues; we had some amount of idealism, mixed
with self-aggrandizement,, a small amount of competition, and a lot of
hope for our futures. We had that precious sense of having all the time
in the world in front of us.
As time went on, WIP was like a desert flower; shrinking or growing depending
upon resources. I remember Nancy Clendaniel (WIP director doing the lions
share of the work when there was not much money in the organization.
Over the past 20 years, Ive morphed myself as a photographer a number
of times, in order to be able to keep doing it and support myself and
my family. I still do about 7 weddings a year to supplement my income
as the director of a non-profit I founded for teenage girls (www.duaghters-sisters.org).
I do a lot of photography with the organization to this day, and in fact
Epson America has donated all our digital cameras, scanners, printers,
etc. so that we can control of our materials. I developed this role as
director after the success of my first book, Daughters of the Moon,
Sisters of the Sun, which contains over 100 photos.
Books became a way to continue to express myself both in photography and
journalism, which Ive always loved. With the success of my second
book, Global Uprising. I feel like Ive completed something
I needed to do, which not only gave me some credibility (its still
hard to be a woman, let alone a woman artist, in this world), but allowed
me to be a holographic social change agent (i.e. having what I do in the
world mirror my personal growth and values, and the other way around).
I am very excited to be connected with WIP again, and so grateful to Jean
Ferro for all the work she and others have done to create a sustainable,
vital organization. I look forward to hearing from other women I know
and dont know, who are using photography both as a means of personal
growth and self-expression.