With Eyes Wide Open

On January 1, 2010, Elizabeth Neeld began to take a photo a day with her iPhone camera. She had been inspired to begin making a picture each day by designer Erik Kuntz’s project of drawing a dog each day and posting that drawing on his Dog a Day Project website. About six weeks into Elizabeth’s shooting a photo a day a stranger with whom she spoke at a lecture in Connecticut said she would be sending Elizabeth a gift that would arrive in her mailbox in a few days. That gift from Alice Parker was a copy of photographer Chase Jarvis’ book: The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You. Jarvis’ collection of photographs—all made with his iPhone camera—inspired Elizabeth further.

The result is this book, With Eyes Wide Open.

The photographs in this collection include turtles, faucets, a piece of Van Gogh art made of 8000 living plants, roots, identical triplet baby boys, telephones, eating implements—knives, forks, spoons, logs, legs sticking out of a building, an Italian demonstrator, fried green tomatoes, a performer on Austin City Limits stage, an old tin barn, a person with purple hair, a woven hanging of Elvis, leeks, and trees bending left in a west Texas wind.

In her introduction to the book, Elizabeth writes: “Beauty exists everywhere. Surprises abound. Light shines. With eyes wide open we all can participate.” These photographs are her testament to the gift of the everyday.