Write Around PAM: Jonathan Calm

A vertical rectangular photograph of man using a camera on a tripod near an oceanside cliff.
Jonathan Calm (American, born 1971) Double Vision (Record), 2018, pigment print, Portland Art Museum, Museum purchase: Photography Fund, 2020.25.2

This photograph from Jonathan Calm offers a unique glimpse behind the camera, a chance to see the artist at work. As we celebrate Father’s Day today, we invite you to reflect on someone “behind the scenes” in your life who offers you support, care, guidance, and inspiration. Someone who embodies the caring support of fatherhood for you. It could be a father, grandfather, uncle, friend, teacher, caregiver—anyone who offers that extra boost. Keep them in mind, along with this photograph, as you write today. See Jonathan Calm’s photography in person in the Ansel Adams in Our Time exhibition, on view now through August 1 and learn more about his work at

We have 2 prompts to help you get started. As always, you can use one, both, or write whatever else comes. Set a timer for 8 minutes and see what comes.

Behind the camera… / They always carried…

Bonus write: Take a moment to imagine how this person viewed you. What did they see from “behind the scenes”? Using the same prompts, write for another 5 minutes from their perspective.

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the summer with a focus on Ansel Adams in our Time during May, June, and July. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM @jonathancalm

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