Discovering how people become themselves is the basis of my photographic work. My curiosity on how their longings and losses shape who they become is a consistent inspiration for new works. I primarily explore these curiosities around identity through photographic portraiture. Most often I photograph people from within my communities to create series work around themes of gender and family. While the partnership of the subject is crucial to my work, my authorship of the images remains intact. I use both digital and analog technologies depending on what the series calls for conceptually. Power dynamics in my photographs are an important consideration in what I make, both for myself as a female photographer as well as for the viewer engaging with the work. I navigate this through print size and directing the gaze of my subjects to communicate their autonomy as subjects. Intentional installation also contributes to help complete the intention I have of the photographs and for the viewing experience.
The theoretical ground for my work comes from several places, including: Lippard’s feminist ideas on power dynamics related to gender; Bresson’s understanding of photographer authorship; Bartian concepts of viewership; and Jungian theories on the shadow self and how those function when viewing of a difficult photograph.
I offer viewers of my work a question and an invitation. They have an opportunity to acknowledge their own longings and losses through seeing a part of the experiences of the person before them. My hope is they will take this experience of empathy as a bridge into action so that photography really can help change the world.