Artist for Hire: Commissions, Private Events; Visual Arts: Photography
I am often asked if there is an element of social commentary to my work.
I would love to say that what I shoot is that well thought out, but that is not the case. I am really rather superficial. I am not drawn to an image because it says something, I am drawn because It says something to ME. I love visual contrast: color, texture, shape, size. That is what gets my attention. Mix those contrasts together, and I am lost in it for the afternoon.
As many times as I have made a month long drive around the country, I am always surprised. I try to vary the route, to see new things. The people don’t change much. Some are nice, some not, some clean up after themselves, some don’t. Some kids are shitty, some aren’t. The spirit of the area is what I notice, more than the people.
I recently detoured down to Galveston, which I had never done before because it always seemed too far out of the way. I made the time on this trip, and I am amazed to discover how similar it is to New Orleans. Architecturally as well as geographically. There is a lot more water in Texas than I realized! The feel of this place is very much like New Orleans. Built with what looks like a cavalier attitude towards mother nature and a stubborn desire to be right here, the city seems precarious at best. Much like the prostitute I drove by on my way in, a little dirty, skinny and sad but ultimately hopeful and determined to make it work right where she is.
This most recent trip is the first time I have felt like a vulture while photographing. Most of what I like to shoot is far from people. Old factories and mills, abandoned properties. These places have not heard human noises for awhile, with the exception of other urban explorers. This time, though, I find myself shooting things I thought were abandoned, but in fact are still inhabited. I feel a little guilty to find beauty in the destruction of property that someone still lives in. Like I am mocking them. I am not sure if they would understand why I am making art from their misfortune and I am pretty sure I couldn’t explain. It makes me want to drive straight home and hug my family.
So, social commentary?
I don’t really know. I take photos of what I like. I see one thing, you see another. I suppose the subjectivity is the beauty of any art.
What do you see?
I am a road tripper, photographer, wife, mom…did I say road tripper? Every chance I get, I am on the road to adventure. If I am not on the road, I am working to get back out there. I drive around the states to the tune of about 30,000 miles a year, for a total of 7-8 weeks traveling and about 9,000 images. The remainder of the year? I sell my images, shoot weddings and portraits, and fly kites with my boys.