About Josh Meier
Artist, huh? To be totally honest, having grown up on a farm in Iowa I've been predisposed for lifelong rejection of such accusations. I'm a photographer. I'm a writer. In my late teens I went through an angsty "create awful poetry" phase, but we don't talk about that anymore. For the most part I wander through this world in awe of its beauty; and in hope of inspiring others, I rely on images and words to share what I have found.
Each year I submit dozens of variations of an Artist's Bio in applying for shows around the country, and cringe in fear of sounding pretentious every single time. With these you are generally allowed two to five hundred characters to eloquently summarize your credentials, your process, define the meaning of life and tell what is unique or special about yourself and what you do. It's torture. I suppose in the absence of space limitations here I could actually address some of this in a meaningful way. I could offer a litany of characteristics and motivations similar to those found on the About pages of many of my professional nature photography peers. I'm self taught... I have a lifelong passion for the craft... Yada, yada, yada... I'm always working hard to grow and improve. All true, but those don't really tell the whole story.
The picture above gives a better view. That's me, in my element. On the morning this was taken I woke hours before dawn and drove to a favorite state park to be out in the woods by sunrise. My senses, and spirit, came alive with the forest. I climbed over boulders and explored the cool depths of caves. I crossed misty streams and reached out to feel the rough bark of trees, tilting my head skyward to smile at birds chirping overhead. I examined the shifting interplay of shadow and light as it filtered through the canopy. I pondered the geology and formation of the landscape, the natural processes and cycles of plant and animal life, the atmospheric conditions, the travel speed of sunlight and all else that converges perfectly to create enchanted moments in time. I realized how extremely lucky I was to be there as a witness, and felt the familiar call to capture pieces of that magic, wishing both to preserve and to share.
It's in the capture and conveyance of these moments that I feel an undeniable calling- one that resonates from my very soul deep within. It allows me to fulfill an innate, unspoken purpose... Following that morning's excursion I stopped to grab a donut from a nearby convenience store and could feel disapproving stares from the workday crowd. I looked disheveled, my shoes were wet, my clothes tattered and caked in mud. But I was happy, and I'm used to not fitting in. In a world obsessed with resumes and reality tv, priorities set by mortgages and ad campaigns and success gauged by shiny new cars, I know I don't belong. Through photography though I can show others what matters to me instead. It's my way of not just finding peace by escaping the madness, but also sharing my view to remind others, "hey, look over here... this is happening too." And if that allows me to touch someone in a way that enhances their life- brings beauty to their day, encourages them to explore the joys of nature themselves, or to love and protect this planet that we share, it's a purpose I'm honored to serve.
So artist? I don't know. I'll leave that for others to decide. I think there's certainly an artistry in following your heart, your path and your passions, and in that is the artistry of life.