Photography feels like an extension of my eyeball, like I'm always taking pictures, camera or no. It’s a way for me to know myself, as I see where gravity has pulled and piece together a story of the lives that have drawn me in. When I left home and started traveling—often by bike and bus—I was most drawn to people living close to the land, out of the box, free from the “shoulds.” I knew I wanted to be like them. The focus got even clearer when the Mud and Pearls Calendar crew invited me to help—shooting portraits of empowered and free women working hard, people who choose humble yet strong ways of living.
I also began to realize the importance to my heart of the relations that I develop with subjects in their power places (often home). I love relationships and I love watching subject and photographer unfold and get comfortable as we spend time together. I try to make the photo shoot feel like a deep connection where we both feel vulnerable, and the process then becomes as important as the result. It feels like an honor to be invited into people’s homes, imagining how different life can be for all of us by listening to stories of what life is for each of them. If the magic flows just so, I get to hear their heart’s song and try to capture it in images.
It’s becoming clear, as I press the shutter over and over, that my work, and knowing myself through it, is just beginning. My intention is to stay humble, respectful and connected to the person on the other side of the lens. I want this experience of capturing life, inspiration and times on people’s faces to empower the subject—and by so doing to uplift the viewer, myself and the community.