Virginia C. Beahan is a photographer and senior lecturer at Dartmouth College. Before participating in a panel on Cuba in the American imagination, she took questions in our Green Room.
Q. What’s your favorite word?
A. Syzygy. It means a rare celestial alignment.
Q. What do you consider beautiful?
A. I’m actually overwhelmed by what I see as beauty everywhere I look. I’m thinking of a poet who said, “Every time I look out the window I see a poem.” I see photographs everywhere.
Q. If you could live in any other time past present or future, when would it be and why?
A. I might like to live in Paris in the ’20s and ’30s and be meeting all the artists of that era.
Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. Lately, shoes.
Q. What talent would you like to have?
A. That’s easy: I wish I could sing. If I had a voice like Joan Baez, I wouldn’t need to make photographs.
Q. What is your most prized material possession?
A. I would say my 8×10 Deardorff camera. It’s a folding wooden field camera made by a company from Chicago that made the exact same camera for 100 years.
Q. Who is the first person you call with good news?
A. My husband. He’s the man behind the woman.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A. To live more in the moment and to be able to accept things as they come and also as they pass.
Q. Who was your childhood hero?
A. One of the things I liked best as a child was the picture magazines that were delivered to our house. I always envied the photographers that got to travel all over and make these wonderful pictures.
Q. What promise to yourself do you break most often?
A. That I will not be late!
Read more about the panel in which Beahan participated here.
*Photo by Aaron Salcido.