At 21, Kloe Blumenthal finds solace in the soft glow of incense as she embarks on her nightly journaling ritual, a transformative journey of self-discovery.
Photography is an art mastered by those with a keen visual eye. It doesn’t always come easy, especially when you’re a beginner still trying to figure out the tools. After spending my sophomore year talking about photos and what goes into it, I got inspired to get behind the lens my senior year. As a journalism major, it’s an essential skill to have. Sure, I know how to photograph news stories, but I’ve grown to now enjoy capturing people in their element. For my Photojournalism course, I was given the task to do a profile on a newsworthy person. So, I spent all of October following my good friend, Kloe Blumenthal. She’s president of the club Active Minds, which focuses on breaking the stigma around mental health through conversations and workshops. She’s also an employee at Green Bar, a trendy juice bar, and a senior at SUNY New Paltz.
For me, this photo represents the creativity of trial and error. I wanted to perfect the element of abstraction, and together, my muse and I were able to connect through the lens. Blumenthal had put on the record American Beauty by the Grateful Dead to create a relaxing atmosphere as she lit her incense. “I think the melody of “Ripple” is so beautifully peaceful. I love listening to it when I journal,” Blumenthal said. Throughout this project, I learned a lot about who Blumenthal is, beyond her presentation. I observed the kind of leader she is, how kindly she treated others and how they admired her. I appreciate her love for having intense, in-depth conversations. But most importantly, how she practices the art of being vulnerable and being fully immersed in it. As for the image here, according to Dictionary.com, the word “abstract” is defined as the “thought apart from concrete realities, specific objects or actual instances.” I think it is a beautiful definition that reminds us to look beyond the core and into the soul, even if you have to look through the lens to find it.