I’ve been keeping a journal in some form ever since I got a pink Lisa Frank diary with paddle lock when I was 8. Back then I wrote to keep track of who I had a crush on, which was pretty important stuff in the second grade. Later on, I always had some form of online journal. I’ve had the same one since 2004, have over 2100 entries, and have documented my life starting from my last semester of high school. So much about me has changed since then, but when I read old entries again, the things that have stayed the same are what I find intriguing about myself. Our attitudes, how we process, and who we precisely are- these things do not change.
Photography was a logical extension of this memory keeping. I started taking photos as soon as my mom would let me use her camera. I think after the first few times, when the pictures started to come out alright, she would just hand it over whenever there was a family gathering, and I became the photo journalist of my family. It was a role that never left me feeling burdened or put-upon; like writing, it was always my natural inclination to photograph. I started photographing my nephew Ryan when he was a baby. He’s 17 now, and I have been able to document him growing up, which I think is one of the most amazing parts of life: witnessing (and participating in) the lives of the people we love.
I currently have nine nieces/nephews, and a large library of images as a result. In combing through my library to choose images for this website, I discovered a thread throughout most of my photos: I photograph children almost exclusively from their height or perspective. I sit on the floor with them almost always. It creates images of them looking somewhat larger than life, and contributes to a visual expression of their personality to a greater extent that a studio portrait would allow, I think. The world of children exists below the height of most of our waists, so it makes sense to see it from there.
Adults tend to feel awkward being photographed, to which I can certainly relate (having spent years behind the camera and not in front of it). I get around this by being approachable, relaxed, and ready to make a joke that will bring out their best. After years of working in the service industry waiting tables, working for Starbucks, working in a retirement home, and working in retail, it’s not difficult for me to start up a conversation with most anyone. Your friends take the best pictures of you, and I’ll try to do that and be that for you too.
I also happen to know a good deal about cameras and how to work them, and I might know a thing or two about Photoshop. Oh, and I have a BFA in Photography from the University of North Florida. I forgot to mention that.
I hope we can work together soon!