Warm Hughes Inc is the creative practice of photographer and director Collin Hughes ︎ Journal ︎Index 

WINTER 2020/21

Writing this as the 2020 has just closed out and my partner and I are a week away from the birth of our second daughter, Aila Ruby. A recap - a letter to myself of sorts - and a wish for 2021.

First, my experience through the year despite the difficulties, was given meaning and grounding only because of fatherhood. It was a time for learning to father myself really, understanding the power of discipline, structure, planning – things that I’d consider myself an amatuer at ¯_(ツ)_/¯

I was pretty terrible at being creative, all that energy had been vacuumed out of my life and leaving space for lots of other things. It was a nice change of perspective, and painful as well. Meaning is a bottomless pit, and the last few years plumbing its depths resulted in a lot of awareness but also a realization that ‘meaning’ is a subjective fiction. What I’m saying is that ‘meaning’ (the “what does this all mean?”) changes depending on a variety of factors, a symbol akin to money; seeking it out begets more seeking. Now that I have children, that insatiable quest has found grounding.

Instead, I reconnected with a lot of processes locally - surfing, golfing, yoga, and sleep. Aila’s middle name came to me when I was out walking and saw the crimson red tips of leaves on a tree. People might hate on 2020, but I think of it as my great awakening to this new life I find myself in, needing to warm to the fact that I am a father of two trying to balance all the things this life has for me. “Aila” means “from a place of strength”, a reminder that I can swallow my insecurities if I choose to, embody the divine masculine, and rest in that without need to escape....whew. A tall order I promise!

Onto the work :: I was commisioned a couple times this year for projects that were perfectly suited for me, a highlight professionally. One I want to show is the series from “Costa Rica” for Deparures Magazine. It was a surreal experience to travel, somewhere tropical nonetheless, during a pandemic while the destination itself was seemingly emptied of activity. It harkened back to the times I would get on a plane in college, when those international jetsets were truly savored. I was joined by the writer John Bowe who brought a saviness to the trip with his charisma, wit, and pro Spanish-speaking skill.

I came prepared with waterproof bag and shoes, three dozen rolls of portra 120, and not much else. Covering that much ground required me to be light. I would say we were wet about 80% of the trip, and keeping my gear dry required a box of rice and dehumidifier every night. Nine days total, four locations across the country, a raft over rapids, and an overnight hike up to the crater of Arenal. Truly unforgettable.

Thank you to Scott Hall @ Travel & Leisure for this commision, John Bowe for being another perspective in the experience, and everyone at Black Tomato and Costa Rica for coordinating.

As for the other work, collaborations with other creative teams sustained me, namely Elizabeth and Garrett @GEO and their client, Mario and his creative team at Hugo & Marie, Simon at Opto, Kojo at Golfer’s Journal, and Molly over at Ghostly Int. Thank you all!

My wish for 2021? I hope to find more ease with fears, projections, and doubts. I hope to see our friends more, find new ways to connect with myself and the earth, and that my family continues its string of good health.

I’m setting up a link on my info page to find time to connect with people. If you’re interested, please signup by going here.

Some of what I listened to most this year:
Happy New Year ︎