My personal areas of interest – photography, zine-making, and being an educator – have always centered themselves around the idea of care and community.
In my work as a portrait photographer, I have long been invested in how communication, dialogue, and respect are embedded in the way I approach my image-making. I am particularly aware of the ongoing tensions of privilege, power, representation, and visibility that are entangled within the history of photography as a medium and its presence across art history. My practice sites collaboration first and foremost, and care is a constant through-line, making sure that those I am photographing feel empowered, seen, held, and heard.
As a zine-maker, independent book publisher, and editor, discussion and discourse always lead these endeavors, and every project is an exercise in trust and collaboration. I believe the foremost objective is to build relationships within the exploration, and some of the questions I ask through this process are: What are we learning from this experience, circumstance, and the conditions being operated within: Where do these conversations take us and what kind of connections are we fortifying in this process?
As an educator, listening, patience and visibility have always been ingrained in my approach to giving space to young artists and creators. In this position as a mentor, the privilege of working with young folx is a unique site to be in and an opportunity to think through the ways in which our time together can articulate a different set of lessons from the ones that are often shown as an example out in the world at large. Their voices come first, and I strive to listen actively for the ways in which we can find new opportunities to build connections across different backgrounds and perspectives, ever-present in considering collectively the ways in which we can build something new together.
Within a photographic context, I have always sought to create intimacy between myself and the participant, sharing their story whilst also finding a way for myself to be present within the imagery. My printed objects – zines and books – act as a vehicle to compress visual representations of these themes and create space and proximity in which the viewer can have their own conversation with the work. As an inquiry into duration, repetition, and longevity, and how they relate to the arc of one’s life, I am curious about what happens to these collaborators over time; and in these photographic meditations often on juvenescence, I try to create icons of the characters I find myself connected to, ultimately exploring what the transitions in youth and adulthood mean and look like.
With my commission-led work, I still try and attempt to employ all these qualities within these opportunities and am acutely aware of the organizing principles, limits, and constraints of fusing my value sets in a commercial context. It has afforded me the opportunity to work with a different frame of mind; remaining open, flexible, and dexterous with my process has been beneficial and has encouraged me to grow in many ways.
My career goals as a photographer, zine-maker, and educator are to continue expanding, prioritizing, and investing in a community that is larger than myself. I will always have much more learning to do with respect to this, and it is imperative to recognize I am not always doing the work perfectly. I strive to keep reminding myself to find ways to learn from my mistakes and constantly improve my approach and understanding of what it means to be an artist, maker, learner, and educator in a complex world that keeps changing.