For me, photography is about relationships and identity. The impact a high quality beautifully framed and placed photograph can have on a person’s life, or a blended family is immeasurable. Here is your daughter, at 16. We, the model and I capture a moment in time that the family can keep forever. And as she grows up, goes off to college, marries, and has children of her own, she gets to keep that moment as well. Photographs are an anchor. A focal point. Photographs keep us grounded in our own history.
On a more personal level, photography helped me recover from the psychological impact of an accident. I was a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver at the age of 25, and 15 years later, photography found me. Being able to take self-portraits and view them from a more objective place allowed me to better handle emotions that seemed overwhelming. Photography helped me reconnect with the world around me (believe it or not) and to move forward–to piece myself back together. Photography provided me the opportunity to explore my feelings and look at life more objectively. I then turned my camera to the outside world.
I also witnessed the impact on my daughters when they saw themselves in large portraits on the walls of Pearl Cup, my neighborhood coffeehouse, where my work was exhibited this past summer. When I saw my favorite images printed large, it hit me, “Oh! So THIS is what it is about!” Even as a photographer, I somehow missed the point of photography. It isn’t just sharing digital files or looking at images of people you love online. Photography is about seeing in front of you the people you love most and the places you adore. Looking at oneself in the mirror or on a digital image is very different from a print. Framed and mounted prints are tangible objects that can be touched and held. They communicate in a big way the importance of a person to someone else. They help to validate a person’s importance and sense of belonging. In this complicated, busy, crazy time, I do believe that people long for a simpler, more authentic art. Creating photographic artwork that you can see every day is a joy to me.