Girls and Women
I am interested in themes surrounding belonging and connection, specifically during the transitional stages of life. I seek out gesture and body language to tell the story of the struggle young people are faced with as they mature, when so often their inner lives and outer appearances are in conflict. The pressures are intense, especially in today's environment of cellphones, Snapchat and Instagram capturing every move and expression. Trying to fit in, when you don't even know who you are yet, is so stressful and anxiety producing.
I am fortunate to have a family, immediate and extended, who allow me to photograph them at (almost) all times. There are so many different types of families; through mine I am exploring belonging, identity, familial ties, and how we relate to each other and the world. This is part of a continuing long-term project.
Christian and his family
Jennifer, a mother of four, was pregnant with Christian, who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a condition that causes serious birth defects, and one that babies usually do not survive. I was contacted by Cubby, the founder of Isaiah's Promise (see Above All, Faith-text below) who asked if I would do a pregnancy portrait of Jennifer and her family. While photographing the family that day, Jennifer asked if I would be there the day Christian was born, to capture whatever time the family would have with him. I was there when Christian was born, photographed his christening, and his short life of nine days. After Christian passed away, Jennifer asked me to come to the funeral for some last memories of the family's time with Christian.
Above All, Faith
I met Cubbie by chance, when she called me to shoot a pregnancy portrait for a family whose baby had a condition that made it unable to sustain life. Through that very emotional experience, we developed a strong friendship. Cubbie is a deeply religious Catholic who, with her husband, runs a daycare in her home for special needs children and young adults. She also founded a charity called Isaiah's Promise, which provides emotional support and advice to women who choose to carry to term a baby that is not viable. When I met her she was recovering from breast cancer. Soon after that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. How does a woman of such strong religious faith come to terms with her diagnosis? Where does she turn when nothing makes sense and she isn't finding comfort in her faith? She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. Sadly, Cubbie passed away in the Fall of 2015. But her charity continues, in her name.